Nearly 2,000 soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Drum are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.

The unit held a deployment ceremony at Fort Drum Monday to case the brigade's flags.

The soldiers are deploying for nine months.

"Our primary mission is advising and assisting the Afghan security forces as they continue to take an increasingly larger responsibility for their security," said Colonel Sam Whitehurst, commander of the 3rd BCT.

The color-casing marks the fourth and possibly final deployment for the 3rd BCT.

The unit will likely de-activate once it returns due to the Army's restructuring.