A Maine Army National Guard Unit that has been readying all year to deploy to Afghanistan found out this week that they're staying home. Maine's Adjutant General says the decision creates a situation that hasn't happened in our state in 11 years.

Brigadier General James Campbell, the Adjutant General of Maine, announced that he was notified by the National Guard Bureau that the 262nd Engineering Battalion's deployment to Afghanistan has been cancelled. According to the Maine National Guard Public Affairs office, the decision is a result of the President's order to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan.

The 262nd is based in Westbrook, has 150 members, and was readying to deploy in December. The unit operates heavy engineer equipment, like bulldozers and front-end loaders, and works to help build things like roads and airfields. The decision to send them overseas caused some concern in Maine because of the work they do to help with projects around the state.

"This cancellation marks the first time since 2003 that we do not have any Maine Army Guard units deployed or readying to deploy - for many of us this is a significant adjustment," General Campbell is quoted in the release. "However, the high state of professionalism, morale, and readiness in the 262nd Engineer Company and all of our units unit will not change - we will remain fully prepared for any mission in support of our citizens, both at home and abroad."

For many Maine families, I'm sure it signifies a much happier Holiday season!