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National Guard unit mobilizes for Afghanistan mission

 Posted: 6:50 PM July 15, 2014

The Oregon Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team will mobilize at a formal ceremony Friday.

About 275 soldiers will complete their training at Fort Hood, Texas, before departing for Afghanistan, according to a press release from the National Guard. The units will provide security and support for military facilities in Kabul and southwestern Afghanistan.

The ceremony is open to the public and will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at Southern Oregon University's McNeal Pavilion, 1465 Webster St., Ashland.

The battalion is headquartered in Ashland, with companies also based in Coos Bay, Grants Pass, Medford, Roseburg and St. Helens.

"The Oregon National Guard today is the best equipped, best trained, best led we've ever been due to experience gained through supporting overseas contingency operations over the last decade," Maj. Stephen Bomar, director of public affairs for the Oregon Military Department, said in the release.

The 41st Brigade, which dates back to 1917, is led by Lt. Col. Noel Hoeback and Command Sgt. Maj. Brad Huppunen.

— Kelsey Thomas

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