In this Jan. 19, 2021, file photo, Maine National Guard soldiers are welcomed to Washington, D.C., by Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. Credit: Courtesy of Capt. Jonathan Bratten

Gov. Janet Mills on Monday attended the departure of about 120 Maine National Guard soldiers to the southern border, wishing them a safe deployment.

The soldiers from the 488th Military Police Company departed from the Portland International Jetport. They’ll be assisting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for about a year but won’t serve in a law enforcement capacity, officials said.

“Throughout our history, dedicated members of Maine’s armed services have answered the call of duty, deploying to places near and far to serve our state and nation,” said Mills, who was joined by Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham, the state’s adjutant general. “On behalf of Maine people, I offer our thanks to the 488th for again stepping up to serve.”

The soldiers will be performing a similar mission to the Maine National Guard 262nd Engineer Company, which has been in Arizona for a year. That mission concludes this fall.