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Minnesota Army National Guard to deploy 400 soldiers to Egypt

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The Minnesota Army National Guard says nearly 400 soldiers from the Mankato-based 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment will deploy to Egypt by the end of this summer.

It's for a nine-month-long mission to the Sinai Peninsula. It's part of an effort to enforce the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, supporting the Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO).

The battalion is one of three supporting the mission. According to a fact sheet, the other battalions are from Fiji and Colombia.

There will be deployment ceremonies in early July. The National Guard will release more information once plans are finalized.

The Mankato "Red Bull" units will leave for Fort Bliss, Texas in July. There, they will have pre-deployment training.

In August, the troops will move to Egypt. They'll provide protection and quick reaction forces. They'll also observe and report violations of the peace treaty.

The Sinai Peninsula is about 23,000 square miles in size. It's located between the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The 2nd Battalion will be operating in the eastern part of the peninsula.

The average age of the soldiers being deployed is 26 years. Of the 375 being sent, nine are female. This will be the first deployment for 252 of the soldiers.

On Sunday, a group of 300 members of the Minnesota Air National Guard will be deploying to South Korea. They'll be helping the U.S. Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces to "maintain a deterrent against threats to regional security and stability," according to the National Guard.

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