Soldiers assigned to two Tennessee National Guard units are heading to Afghanistan for a yearlong deployment.
It is the first deployment for about 160 soldiers with the Smyrna-based 1176th Transportation Company. Some members of the 1175th Transportation Company's Heavy Equipment Tractor unit, which has soldiers from across the state, have deployed previously.
Family members shared tearful goodbyes Sunday at Sewart Airfield in Smyrna as the soldiers boarded planes headed to Fort Hood, Texas, where they will train for six weeks before going on to Afghanistan.
Capt. Daniel Isley says the goal of the transportation unit's deployment will be making sure combat forces "get what they need to keep the mission going."