More than 100 soldiers with the 933rd Military Police Company at Ford Sheridan are heading off to Afghanistan.
The 130 troops will train at Camp Shelby in Mississippi before they begin their nine-month deployment, a tour of duty that will no doubt be tough on their families.
"It's a fair statement to say that it's not just the soldiers alone who deploy and make sacrifices, but very much the families back home that support them as well," one soldier said at Thursday's ceremony.
Capt. Thomas Robideau said the unit has a "strong core of senior leaders and motivated soldiers."
The unit will protect U.S. military bases in the Middle East. They're scheduled to return home next summer.
The company was among the first Illinois National Guard units deployed to Iraq when it was mobilized in 2003.
Photos of Thursday's deployment ceremony have been posted to the Illinois National Guard's Facebook page.