- Associated Press - Saturday, February 22, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - About 70 members of an Alabama Army National Guard unit are headed to Afghanistan.

A departure ceremony will be held Saturday afternoon in Birmingham for members of Company B of the 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment.

The group flies the Army’s CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopter. The aircraft will transport U.S. forces and allies across northern and eastern Afghanistan during a mission lasting about nine months.

More than 21,000 members of the Alabama Guard have been called to active duty since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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