Summerville-based Guard unit deploying to Afghanistan

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- More than 150 members of South Carolina's Army national Guard 1223rd Engineer Company are deploying to Afghanistan.

The group will kick off their preparations Saturday from the Summerville National Guard Armory. The event starts at 11 a.m.

The 1223rd will leave the Lowcountry for Texas before leaving for Afghanistan where they will conduct deconstruction missions throughout the country as U.S. forces continue to draw down.

"These heroic South Carolinians will deploy to Afghanistan at a pivotal time and they will have a critical mission. I am grateful for their families' sacrifices," said Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., The Adjutant General of South Carolina.

Since 9/11, the S.C. national Guard has deployed more than 17,000 soldiers and airmen. There are currently more than 600 National Guard members from South Carolina deployed overseas.