Andrea Izzotti, Fotolia
More than a dozen members of the Utah National Guard are preparing for a year-long deployment in Afghanistan.

DRAPER — More than a dozen members of the Utah National Guard are preparing for a year-long deployment in Afghanistan.

A departure ceremony is planned Thursday at Utah Guard Headquarters in Draper for 15 soldiers from the 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion.

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Lt. Col. Steven Fairbourn said Tuesday they've been assigned to a mission in Afghanistan where they will process and analyze country-wide information to help U.S. forces gain a better understanding of the battlefield and fight enemy insurgents.

The soldiers will travel to Fort Hood, Texas, and then Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for several weeks of training before heading overseas. The 12-month deployment is in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.

Fairbourn says the Utah Guard is proud thankful for their service and mindful of the sacrifice the soldiers and their families make for the nation's defense.