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Red Bulls take charge of Middle East task force

Maj. Gen. Benjamin Corell (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Hjelmstad uncase the division colors during a ceremony Nov. 12, 2018, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The Minnesota National Guard's Red Bulls assumed responsibility for the Task Force Spartan mission from the Pennsylvania National Guard's 28th Infantry Division. Photo by Sgt. Bill Boecker / Minnesota National Guard

The Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division assumed responsibility for mission command and control of Task Force Spartan from Pennsylvania's 28th Infantry Division during a transfer of authority ceremony Monday, Nov. 12, at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, according to a news release. The Minnesota National Guard division is on a nine-month deployment to lead nearly 10,000 soldiers from subordinate brigades conducting theater security operations across the Middle East.

PREVIOUSLY: Red Bulls arrive in Middle East on 9-month deployment

"On behalf of the entire Red Bull Division, I can tell you, we are fully trained. We are prepared to seamlessly step in and execute the mission requirements," said Maj. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, the 34th's commanding general. "These Red Bulls that I represent are honored to be assuming command of Task Force Spartan and take the lead of Operation Spartan Shield."

Operation Spartan Shield is designed to maintain a U.S. military posture sufficient to strengthen U.S. defense relationships, build partner capacity and execute U.S. Central Command's contingency plans, the news release states. Task Force Spartan represents the army component of the operation.

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