The mayor of South Bend is making his final preparations for a seven-month military deployment to Afghanistan.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is expected to leave Friday for the Navy Operational Support Center in Chicago and soon after that head to Afghanistan. The 32-year-old is a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve and will serve as intelligence officer during his deployment scheduled to last until the end of September.
Buttigieg tells the South Bend Tribune that it's difficult to step away from the mayor's office but that he'll communicate online with others in his administration leading the 100,000-person city.
Buttigieg picked former city controller Mark Neal as deputy mayor to fill in during his deployment. Buttigieg joined the Navy Reserve in 2009 and was elected mayor in 2011.
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