More than 70 Pa. National Guard members have been deployed from Fort Indiantown Gap.
The Company A, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion will conduct training in Fort Hood, Texas before flying to Afghanistan to assist with various aviation operations. Each soldier will be offered a five day pass before leaving for Afghanistan so they may spend Christmas with their families in Pennsylvania.
The 104th battalion is comprised of helicopter pilots, flight engineers, crew chiefs, maintainers and fuelers, who will fly vital missions -- including troop medevacs -- throughout Afghanistan.
Company Commander Captain James Cragg said he's proud of his soldiers.
"They're incredible guys and they're all leaving their families. [It's] something they volunteered for, leaving their families, ya know, [for] what could be a year, if not more possibly. You don't find many Americans like this."
Each soldier in this company volunteered for the mission.
Friday's deployment is just one of several Pa. National Guard deployments to Afghanistan in recent months. Troops also deployed to the Middle Eastern country on October 12 and September 28.