Around 650 soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard’s 34th Red Bull Infantry Division are deploying to the Middle East this week. A departure ceremony is being held Thursday at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul as well as a “Serve Our Troops” farewell dinner for families at the RiverCentre. The Red Bulls will train at Fort Hood, Texas for a month and then be primarily stationed at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait until late July of 2019. The troops will be responsible for operations in about ten Middle Eastern countries in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Command Sergeant Major Joe Hjelmstad of Battle Lake said: “our citizen-soldiers will return to their families and employers with new skills and experience that will make them even more valuable members of their communities.” Many of these Red Bull soldiers have deployed overseas before to locations including Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia.
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