APPLETON (WLUK) -- Almost 400 National Guard soldiers from an Appleton-based unit are being deployed to Afghanistan this winter.
"They're deploying to Afghanistan as a security element where they will be providing security for coalition forces that are operating in the region," Capt. Joe Trovato told FOX 11.
The forces working in that region have a NATO-led mission called 'Resolute Support'. They train, advise and assist Afghan security forces.
The Wisconsin National Guard says the soldiers are from the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry. Besides its Appleton headquarters, it also has companies based in Clintonville, Green Bay, Fond du Lac, Marinette, Ripon and Waupun.
The National Guard says the soldiers will leave sometime in winter, but more specific details were not available. Including pre-mobilization training in the U.S., the deployment is expected to last about a year.
"Typical deployment cycle now is about a year, but that's mission dependent and it can change, again, depending on variables hidden in theater," Travato explained.
This will be the first deployment to Afghanistan for the 127th Infantry. Its soldiers previously served in Iraq in 2005-06 and 2009-10.
Travato says the unit is also part of the 32nd infantry brigade known as 'Red Arrow'.
"The 32nd is actually celebrating its centennial this year, as it was formed for the first World War," Trovato said.
Travato told FOX 11, sending soldiers to Afghanistan will add a significant new chapter for the unit.
The National Guard also plans to do a send-off ceremony for the soldiers.