The Vermont National Guard says an advance party of what will eventually be a deployment of 1,500 soldiers has arrived in Afghanistan.
The group of about 20 soldiers arrived last week.
Guard spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Lloyd Goodrow says more soldiers will begin arriving in Afghanistan next week and the deployment should be completed by mid to late March.
Goodrow says the members of the Vermont National Guard will serve near the Afghan capital of Kabul and other locations in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border.
He says the Vermonters will be about 250 miles from the area where U-S Marines are now carrying out a major operation against Taliban fighters.