The first wave of Minnesota National Guard soldiers will return from deployments in Iraq.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty will greet the first 250 Guard soldiers in Minneapolis on Sunday as they exit the aircraft at the 133rd Airlift Wing at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.
Maj. Patricia Baker with the National Guard said about 200 to 250 soldiers will come home in each wave. They arrive first at Fort Lewis, Wash., spend about a week there, and then return to Minnesota.
The 34th Infantry Division is based out of Rosemount. The 1,200 soldiers who are returning come from more than 275 communities in Minnesota. The Guard expects the entire 1,200-member division back by the middle of February.
The Red Bulls have provided command and control of military forces in the southern third of Iraq since May 2009. They led a force of about 14,000 U.S. service members throughout nine Iraqi provinces.
Three members of the division were killed in July 2009 from a mortar attack.
The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division soldiers will return to three separate armories at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Rosemount National Guard Armory: 13865 South Robert Trail
Inver Grove Heights National Guard Armory: 8076 Babcock Trail
Stillwater National Guard Armory: 107 E. Chestnut Street
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)