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FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) -- About 2,200 soldiers from Fort Stewart will be heading to Afghanistan in the coming weeks.

The Defense Department said Thursday the troops from the Georgia Army post's 4th Infantry Brigade are expected to deploy in February.

Fort Stewart officials say the departing soldiers have been training for the deployment since July. They completed a monthlong mission readiness exercise at Fort Polk, La., in November.

The 4th Brigade troops are expected to spend nine months in Afghanistan training and assisting the country's own security forces.

It's the first time the 4th Brigade has sent soldiers to Afghanistan. The brigade returned from a yearlong tour in Iraq in July 2011.

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