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Iowa National Guard sending troops to Poland later this year

About 250 soldiers from National Guard companies based in Mason City and Iowa City are preparing to mobilize to Poland in 2022.

JOHNSTON, Iowa — The U.S. Department of Defense and the National Guard Bureau have activated two Iowa Army National Guard companies to support operations in Poland.

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden said he would send U.S. troops to Poland and Germany amid stalled talks with Russia over its military buildup at Ukraine’s borders.

The 1133rd Transportation Company in Mason City and the 209th Medical Company Area Support in Iowa City were selected to join federal mobilization missions in 2022, according to a news release from the Iowa National Guard.

This deployment is not part of previously scheduled cycles for the Iowa National Guard this year.

"The upcoming deployments later this year involving the 1133rd Transportation Company and 209th Medical Company are part of routine deployment cycles in 2022 and have nothing to do with the current events in Eastern Europe," said Maj. Katherine Headley in a statement, per WOI Local 5.

By transporting equipment and supplies and providing field hospital health service support, the units will assist NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence mission in wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Operation Atlantic Resolve, according to the release.

RELATED: Biden sending more troops to Europe amid Ukraine tension

In 2020, the units aided COVID-19 response efforts throughout the state with testing site operations, contact tracing and the transportation of personal protective equipment.

The last time the 1133rd Transportation Company was activated into federal service was in 2008 to support the global war on terrorism. The 209th Medical Group was last deployed in 2003 to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

According to the release, the Iowa National Guard was working on scheduling send-off ceremonies for soldiers, and those ceremonies will be announced at a later date.

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