Aviation regiment going to Middle East for a year

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Nearly 100 soldiers from the South Dakota National Guard 189th Aviation Regiment will soon be headed to the Middle East for a year of service.

Family, friends and local government leaders gathered at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City Wednesday for a send-off ceremony. The troops will spend two months in Fort Hood, Texas before going overseas.

93 guard members will provide aerial medical evacuation support in the Middle East. Sgt. Michael Martin says the unit picks up soldiers injured in the field and transports them to places where they can be given medical care.

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