Soldiers Deploy For Afghanistan Mission - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Soldiers Deploy For Afghanistan Mission

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BOZEMAN -

The first Montana Army National Guard unit of 2014 left for a mission in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

It was an emotional day as soldiers of the Montana Army National Guard's 143rd Military Police Company said good-bye to family and friends.

For now, the 35 soldiers are heading to Fort Dix in New Jersey for six weeks to complete their final training.

"It's collective training. It's the final training that they do as a unit together," said Major Tim Crowe.

The units mission is a nine month tour doing police work in Afghanistan.

"They'll be doing security at the Fort Operating Base in Afghanistan," said Crowe. "They'll secure that area, but they will also do police type work."

Governor Steve Bullock was also there. He shook the hand of each and every soldier that left on Wednesday.

"This is always hard," said Bullock. "I definitely want to be the last Montanan to wish them off on the plane and ask them to stay safe."

He said it's extremely important that we support every soldier who sacrifices their lives for our freedom.

"The entire family sacrifices so much," said Bullock. "It's really important that we are watching out for these families."

This is the third time the unit has been deployed in 12 years.

"This is the one Montana's National Guard that has been deployed the most as a unit," said Crowe. "Several of these soldiers have gone with the unit all three times, but there are some fresh faces in the crowd this time around."

"Be safe. Montana cares about you. We can't wait to welcome you home," said Bullock. "Thanks for doing what you're doing."

Crowe said a separate National Guard unit of 145 soldiers are scheduled to come back to Montana next month, after completing a mission in Kuwait.

To view more photos of the soldiers deployment, click here.

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