Rhode Island National Guard unit deployed to Middle East

January 22, 2020 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island National Guard unit has been deployed to the Middle East to support Operation Spartan Shield.

The Guard announced Monday that 115th Military Police Company had been deployed as part of a scheduled rotation of deployments overseas, The Providence Journal reported.

The company “will be conducting routine military police missions in support of Operation Spartan Shield throughout southwest Asia,” according to a news release by the Guard.

The unit’s deployment comes amid rising tensions in the Middle East following the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general earlier this month.

In 2017, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army described the operation as an attempt to discourage regional aggression and stabilize the region.

According to a post on the Army website, the operation “is U.S. Central Command’s means to deter regional aggression and stabilize countries within the region. From Egypt to Pakistan, Kazakhstan to Yemen, the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility is strategically important as well as volatile.”