Minn. National Guard unit deploying to Iraq this fallby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota National Guard announced Thursday that a St. Cloud-based helicopter unit will be heading for Iraq as part of the wind down of U.S. military operations there over the next year.
The military mission is officially called New Dawn.
About 80 members of Company B of the 2nd General Aviation Support Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment will be leaving in late November for a year-long deployment. They'll be heading for Fort Hood for several months of training, then on to the Middle East.
"This particular unit flies CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopters and their mission in Iraq will be to provide for the aerial movement of troops, equipment and supplies in support of the responsible draw down of U.S. forces," said Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, a spokesman for the Minnesota National Guard.
Olson said that about half of the soldiers being called for the deployment have been to Iraq before. The unit was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007.