Eighty-five soldiers from the 224th Engineer Company in Albany will spend 21 days at the National Training Center in the Mojave Desert. The soldiers drew their weapons, gas masks and rucks and boarded a charter bus in Albany Monday morning.

The deployment marks the largest training mission most in the unit have participated in. Staff Sgt. Joshua Cooper said a little more than three-quarters of the company have never deployed, and going to the Training Center is considered an honor. In fact, he said, the 224th has never been to the center.