South Dakota National Guard soldiers heading to Afghanistan received a warm send-off Wednesday.
The ceremony for the four soldiers with the 1978th Contingency Contracting Team began at 10 a.m. at the Duke Corning Armory in Rapid City.
The group is deploying for nine months of duty in Afghanistan after final training at Camp Shelby, Miss.
"We're going to miss our families, but we're very excited about the opportunity because we've been training," said 1978th Team Leader Matt Symonds. "The South Dakota Guard has been really good at taking the time to get us trained up for this mission over the last four years."
The unit's mission will be to coordinate contracting functions at a brigade or combat team level.