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829th Engineer Company, based out of Chippewa Falls, on its way to Afghanistan

A National Guard unit from western Wisconsin will go to Afghanistan later this year. Major Paul Richert says the 829th Engineer Company from Chippewa Falls will dismantle U-S operating bases. They'll also make sure the enemy does not get its hands on anything valuable from those facilities. President Obama said in his State-of-the-Union speech that he'll declare an end to the war in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 -- although a small military force will remain there next year. The 829th Engineer Company has about 160 troops from the Eau Claire region. They'll train at Fort McCoy in March and then go to Fort Bliss Texas in April for pre-mobilization work. Commander Kyle Gruber said about half his unit's members have been to Iraq or Afghanistan at least once. It will be his third deployment there.