By Associated Press - Thursday, March 28, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona Army National Guard unit is deploying to the Middle East.

Guard officials have scheduled a farewell ceremony Friday at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix for the 996th Medical Company Area Support.

The Guard says the unit’s 50 soldiers will join nearly 1,500 other Arizona National Guard soldiers and airmen currently on active duty.

Soldiers with the 996th include Spec. William Smith, the son of Maj. Gordon Smith, who is deployed Feb. 24 with the Guard’s 253 Engineer Battalion.

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