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Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 2:45pm

Georgia Troops Leaving For Afghanistan

Nearly 700 Fort Stewart soldiers are getting ready to say goodbye to their families before leaving for their first deployment to Afghanistan.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment held a ceremony Wednesday to pack the unit's battle flag, a symbol that the troops and their flag will soon be heading overseas.

Fort Stewart officials would not say when they're departing.

The battalion is the first ground unit from the Fort Stewart-based 3rd Infantry Division tapped by the Army for a tour in Afghanistan after a decade of fighting there.

Like the rest of the 3rd Infantry, the battalion instead deployed to Iraq four times between 2003 and 2010.

Two other Fort Stewart units of about 700 soldiers each are scheduled to deploy by summer.