A deployment ceremony for the 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion of the Montana Army National Guard was held on Thursday.
The 21 soldiers headed to Fort Hood in Texas to complete pre-deployment training before heading to Southwest Asia.
Their mission in Southwest Asia will be to provide medical helicopters and support to military operations in that region.
Maj. Gen. Matthew Quinn, the Adjutant General for Montana, said “When the Army says, 'Hey, we need the National Guard support for some mission,' then our soldiers start training up on the task required of them to do their duty overseas."
At the Montana Army Aviation Support Facility in Helena, after goodbye hugs and kisses, the garage doors opened up, and everyone headed outside to see the soldiers off.
“If you look around, this is the most proud you can be. When you see the families, when you see the community, when you see the employers come out and support our Guardsmen, this means a lot to our soldiers as they head out,” Quinn said.
Twelve soldiers headed out in the Black Hawk helicopters filled with medical support equipment. The other nine flew on commercial flights to Texas.
Governor Steve Bullock and Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney attended to see the soldiers off as well.
For security reasons the National Guard did not disclose the length of the mission nor the country the soldiers are deploying to.