CAMP RIPLEY -- More than 150 soldiers in central Minnesota are heading to Kuwait. The Minnesota National Guard's 851st Vertical Engineer Company based at Camp Ripley will depart Wednesday for a nine-month deployment.

They will conduct engineer support missions.

The average age of the deploying soldiers is 27 years old. The youngest is 18 and the oldest is 55.

This will be the first deployment for 137 soldiers, the second for 10 of them, and the third for two soldiers.

Fourteen of the soldiers are women.

They will train in Texas next month and then arrive in Kuwait in June. They will come back to Minnesota next spring.

A deployment ceremony will be held Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Little Falls High School.

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