Seventy-eight members of the Maryland Army National Guard's 1297th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion based in Havre de Grace said farewell to friends and family at a deployment ceremony Sunday at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
The soldiers are shipping out to Fort Hood, Texas, for training and then to Afghanistan where they will support Operation Enduring Freedom for approximately a year, according to the MNG.
Joining the unit and family members and other well-wishers at Sunday's ceremony were Gov. Martin O'Malley and Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, adjutant general of Maryland, who both spoke.
The unit is based at the Havre de Grace Military Reservation and many of its members are Harford County residents.
The same unit was last mobilized in 2004 and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from November 2004 to October 2005, according to the Maryland National Guard.
During the previous deployment, the unit's members received 88 awards, including six Bronze Star Medals and 11 Meritorious Service Medals. The unit received the Meritorious Unit Award and a campaign streamer for Iraq.