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Minnesota National Guard
257th MPs prepare for deployment to Afghanistan

Family and friends gathered at a deployment ceremony in Monticello May 23 to send off 124 members of the 257th Military Police Company for a one year deployment to Afghanistan

“We have trained hard, we have developed great trust in one another,” said Capt Troy M Hyland, commander of the 257th MP Co

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The unit will train at Fort Bliss before moving ahead to Afghanistan, where they will partner with the Afghan National Army in support of Operation Enduring Freedom

The commander and other guests who spoke at the ceremony expressed their appreciation to the family support groups who continue to work to make the long absences bearable Minnesota families and communities have endured more than 10 years of deployments and missions since the Minnesota Air National Guard provided patrol missions immediately after the Sept 11 attacks Though Hyland compared the upcoming deployment to a sabbatical, he is not taking the mission lightly

“I have the utmost respect for each and every Soldier standing here today and I take my responsibilities seriously,” said Hyland

“Thank you for lending us your sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers,” said Col Steve Hanson, commander of the 347th Regional Support Group, the MPs parent unit “The sacrifice you endure as military family members is not taken for granted”

This will be the first deployment for the 257th MP Co since mobilization in 2003 as Battery D of the 216th Air Defense Artillery Battalion Upon returning from Iraq in 2005, the unit was redesignated the 257th MP Co Since then, the unit has conducted training specific to their jobs, including working security during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St Paul

For their service in Iraq in April 2004, the unit earned a Valorous Unit Citation, the first and only Minnesota unit to date to earn that distinction

By Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
May 23, 2012

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