Fort Riley, Kan. (KSNT) – Members of the Oklahoma National Guard are calling Ft. Riley home for the next few months.

Task Force Tomahawk is based out of Oklahoma, but soldiers are finishing their preflight training here in Kansas. Early next year, more than 1,000 service members will be deployed to different countries in Africa.

The groups have been at Ft. Riley for roughly a month now, and soldiers stationed at the base said training in Kansas has turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

“We were a bit surprised, but it’s been very good to come out here, a lot of good training, it’s beautiful out here as well so as long as the weather cooperates we really can’t complain,” Sgt. Aspen Wilson said.

On Monday, service members had qualifications training and went through live drills. The task force went through numerous drills including live firing mortars and assault rifle training.

“What we see, and the way I interpret myself is that a lot of them are getting very excited,” range safety specialist at Ft. Riley Nick Johnson said. “They’re coming into a realm that is outside of their comfort zone when they’re at home.”

Many of the soldiers headed overseas next year will be making the trip for the very first time. The task force will be part of five different groups spread across three East African countries.