STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Members of the New York National Guard said goodbye to loved ones Saturday as they prepare for deployment to the Middle East.
More than 600 soldiers from the 42nd Infantry Division geared up Saturday to board buses destined for Pennsylvania.
They will receive additional training there, before being shipped out to the Middle East.
It's the first deployment for some soldiers, while others will be doing their second and even third tours of duty.
Service members who spoke with NY1 say recent tension between the US and Iran has not affected their focus.
"The approach is not different, the training is not different and neither is the focus now. Some things may change once we get into theater, but again the same training that we were going to have on the move. We will be able to accommodate any changes in theater," said New York National Guard Command Sergeant Major Corey Cush.
This is the infantry's first deployment in 15 years, which is not happening in connection with the rising tension.