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Local National Guard soldiers on the way home

Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division are returning to Fort Lewis, Wash., following their 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Their exact return dates to Minnesota will be released as soon as they become available.

The 34th Infantry Division Soldiers will undergo medical and administrative processing at Fort Lewis before they return to Minnesota.

Since May 2009, the 34th Infantry Division (34th ID) provided command and control of military forces in the southern third of Iraq. Headquartered at Contingency Operating Base Basra, the 34th Infantry Division led a force of approximately 14,000 U.S. service members throughout nine of Iraq's 18 provinces.

More than 1,200 soldiers representing 273 Minnesota Communities and 14 states deployed with the Red Bulls. Four Minnesota National Guard units deployed with the 34th Infantry Division from the communities of Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights, Faribault and Stillwater.

There are three major units deployed with the 34th Infantry Division: 468 Soldiers from the Rosemount-based 34th Infantry Division Headquarters, 400 Soldiers from the Inver Grove Heights-based 34th Infantry Division Special Troops Battalion and 169 Soldiers from the Stillwater-based 34th Military Police Company.

34th Infantry Division notable accomplishments include:

• Ensured Iraqi security forces could protect their population and

borders in southern Iraq.

• Developed southern Iraq's civil capacity and economic security.

• Set conditions for a successful drawdown of U.S. forces in their area of responsibility.

For more information on the Minnesota National Guard visit