Soldiers with the Hawaii Army National Guard said goodbye to their loved ones Friday.
Company B of the 777th Aviation Support Battalion, 125 strong, are going to Fort Hood, Texas, for training, then go to the United States Central Command Area of Responsibility for a nine-month deployment to provide support for the troops in the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
This marks the fourth time this National Guard unit has been deployed.
“We’re just extremely proud of this particular unit,” said Lt. Col. Charles Anthony. “No other unit has deployed this many times since 9-11, so they’ve got a lot of experienced people.”
“It’s going to be a great experience,” said Sgt. Alexander Macadamia. “I get to meet new people and see new places at the same time. I’m kind of sad ’cause I’m leaving all my loved ones, my family.”
The soldiers will help maintain military helicopters used by the troops out in the desert.