More than 40 soldiers from a Maryland National Guard unit in Annapolis are scheduled to leave today for New Jersey to prepare for a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guard officials said.
The six-month deployment marks the first time the entire Troop A 1-115th Calvary Forward unit has been called into service. Individual members served in Operation Desert Storm and Bosnia with other units, officials said.
The unit will leave for Europe from Fort Dix, N.J., in about two weeks.
About 260 soldiers from the Maryland National Guard and more than 1,200 in the Guard's 29th Division - which includes soldiers from Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Virginia - will be deployed.
Guard officials said this is the first significant deployment of the division since World War II.
The troops are being deployed as part of the 10th rotation in NATO's mission to encourage ethnic reintegration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, officials said.
The soldiers have spent the past year preparing for the assignment.