Gov. Tony Evers and senior Wisconsin Army National Guard leaders will join family and friends this weekend in Menomonie at a ceremony honoring nearly 400 National Guard soldiers deploying to Afghanistan.

The sendoff ceremony, which is not open to the public, is scheduled at noon Sunday at Johnson Fieldhouse on the UW–Stout campus.

The Eau Claire-headquartered infantry battalion and its subordinate companies, which are all part of the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team, will deploy as a security element for coalition forces operating in the region.

Soldiers from each company that make up the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry, including Company A in Menomonie, Company B headquartered in New Richmond with a detachment in Rice Lake, Company C headquartered in Arcadia with a detachment in Onalaska, Company D in River Falls, and the battalion headquarters in Eau Claire with a headquarters detachment in Abbotsford will all deploy as part of the mission.

The 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry has deployed numerous times since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, including multiple tours from 2004-06 and 2009-10 in Iraq. The upcoming deployment marks the unit's first to Afghanistan.