36th Infantry Division making National Guard history in Afghanistan

For many of the soldiers on Cameron Field at Fort Hood on Tuesday morning, deployment is not a new thing.

"I was just talking to my Mom, she was like 'How many times have we done this?'  This is 5," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Frank Hinnant.

Hinnant is anxious to get to work.

"Actually I'm ready to go.  And I know everybody else is ready to go too, I mean we're all trained, we're all ready," he said.

Tuesday morning at Fort Hood, family and friends attended a deployment ceremony. And where the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard is headed: Afghanistan.

They'll be taking over a regional command providing training, advice and assistance for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as well as the Afghan security institutions.

Bragadier General Lee Henry says it's part of the Guard's commitment to the Army.

"The 8 National Guard divisions, there would be two National Guard divisions ready every year. So as this mission opened up, the two National Guard divisions that were available.  Texas and the 36th was one of them," Henry said.

But the historical part is this is the first time a National Guard unit will take over a regional command in Afghanistan within a combat environment.

"This time we're going back and the places that I was last time, I'll get to see in a different aspect," Hinnant said.

"The communities see us during floods, during disasters.  But it's important to understand that the families and the people that you go to school with and you work with also serve in harms way," Henry said.

Brigadier General Henry says the citizen-soldiers are experienced professionals that will be a recognizable force alongside their active duty counterparts.

"They enjoy that opportunity to really validate their proficiencies so it's an honor for us to be asked to go," he said.

The 36th Infantry Division will be heading out at the beginning of June and they'll stay about 9 months.