More than 325 Pennsylvania soldiers have begun a year-long deployment that will eventually take them to Afghanistan.
The Pennsylvania Army National Guard 1-104th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion left Fort Indiantown Gap on Tuesday for Fort Hood, Texas.
They will receive pre-deployment training before leaving for Afghanistan by the end of the year.
The 1-104th will provide aerial support for ground troops using AH-64 Apache helicopters.
The deployment is the first for Captain Abraham Phares.
"Saying goodbye, it's not easy," Phares said. "However, it's a sacrifice we signed up for and are prepared for."
"It's nice with the technology today, better than ever before," said Specialist Shelby Kennedy, who is also on her first deployment. "We also have support from our families. It's hard, but it's not the worst thing that can happen."
The battalion is headquartered in Johnstown but is made up of soldiers from across the state, including about 35 men and women from central Pennsylvania.
Tuesday, August 19 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-08-19 17:03:38 GMT
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