KUWAIT - More than 650 Citizen-Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division have departed the Middle East as they return home after a ten-month deployment to the region.

The Minnesota unit was responsible for leading U.S. Central Command's Task Force Spartan, which increases military readiness and capability, in order to maintain regional stability and partnerships.

The Red Bull Division led several brigades during its tour, including air defense artillery, field artillery, engineers, armor and aviation. Spread-out to locations in nearly 20 countries, the brigades amassed to more than 9,000 service members to support Task Force Spartan in providing capabilities such as aviation, logistics, force protection and information management.

Units supporting the task force regularly conducted multilateral, military-to-military exercises with partner nation forces in the region. Training exercises varied from testing command-post capabilities to side-by-side maneuvers, developing a mutual understanding of how to conduct operations in a multinational environment.

Through strong partnerships and with integrated military capabilities, the U.S. and its regional partners will be ready to act together quickly in times of crisis to ensure the continued security and sovereignty of our partner nations.

By July, the Red Bulls had left their mark in their area of responsibility, having commanded ten brigades during their ten months in-theater and overseen dozens of training missions with partner nations.

Mission command was officially handed off to Indiana National Guard's 38th Infantry Division, which will become the forward engine powering Operation Spartan Shield, during a Transfer of Authority ceremony officiated by Lt. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commanding general of U.S. Army Central, on July 15, 2019.

Red Bull Soldiers are making a brief stop at Fort Hood, Texas, to finish the demobilization process before returning home in the coming days.

Throughout the deployment, support from families, employers and communities back home never wavered, and the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division successfully accomplished the Task Force Spartan mission.

The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division will hold its official Welcome Home Ceremony on Aug. 27th, 2019 at the Minnesota State Fair.