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SF Guard Unit To Deploy To Kuwait

A Sioux Falls National Guard unit is preparing to serve overseas. It’s part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The soldiers with the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade are set to deploy to Kuwait next February, and they are already training for the mission.

Thirty-nine South Dakota Army National Guard members are preparing for a tour in the Middle East. The soldiers are spending the next year training for the deployment. Before they leave for Kuwait, Major Anthony Deiss says Guard members will spend a few weeks at Fort Bliss in Texas for more specific training.

"Threats that they could experience in the region, force protection training, things of that nature to help get the soldiers in the mindset, get them ready for what they’re going to experience while they’re in theater," Deiss says.

South Dakota Guard members are tasked with security operations and force protection in Kuwait.

This is the second mobilization for the 196th. Deiss says the unit deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011.

"The unit has a lot of veterans. It has a lot of experience that they bring to this deployment, you know, operating overseas, operating with other foreign countries and foreign nationals, so they will be well-prepared and well-suited for this mission," Deiss says.

Deiss says similar deployments last about nine months, but circumstances late next year will determine how long the military members are overseas.