Astoria's Dean Perez and the rest of the Oregon National Guard's 41st Brigade Combat Team will be officially mobilized Saturday in Salem for duty in Afghanistan.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski, Congresswoman Darlene Hooley and Major General Raymond Rees, Oregon National Guard Adjutant General, will attend the ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m. at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.

The 900-member team is heading to Camp Shelby in Alabama for three months of training before embarking on a year-long deployment in Afghanistan beginning in June. The team, accompanied by 400 Oklahoma National Guard soldiers as well as troops from other states, will take over Task Force Phoenix, the mission to train the new Afghan National Army.

It is the largest single overseas deployment by the Oregon National Guard since World War II.

Perez, human resource director for Clatsop County and an Oregon National Guard major, served for a year in Afghanistan in 2004-05 with Task Force Phoenix. In his upcoming deployment, he will serve on the staff of the Task Force commander, Gen. Douglas Pritt.

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