CAMP RIPLEY -- About 1,100 Minnesota National Guard soldiers are deploying to the Middle East.

The nine-month mission in support of Operation Spartan Shield includes soldiers from units in St. Cloud, Camp Ripley, Brainerd, Sauk Centre and other greater Minnesota communities.

They will first travel to Fort Bliss, Texas for additional training prior to heading overseas.

The unit's deployment ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.

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