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Photo Gallery | Arkansas agriculture team returns from Afghanistan

 ~ Guard team helps rebuild agricultural economic programs for Afghan farmers

 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN—The 58 members of the Arkansas National Guard’s second Agriculture Development Team returned to the United States on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, following an 11-month tour of duty helping farmers in southern Afghanistan.

  

The primary mission of ADT-2 was to improve governance and agricultural business development in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, by mentoring the Director of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (DAIL) and his staff. The DAIL is the provincial level representative of the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock

 

In the process of accomplishing their mission, the team traveled over 10,000 accident-free miles throughout southern Afghanistan utilizing Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAP). This encompassed over 240 agricultural combat missions, often in concert with U.S. Army Special Forces, U.S. Navy SEALS, elements of the Romanian army, as well as other U.S. Army units and coalition forces.

 

The team established two demonstration farms, which served as agricultural education centers providing extension services, and progressive farming techniques to local farmers. Additionally, team members, in conjunction with DAIL staff members, conducted educational and training seminars throughout the province reaching over 1,300 farmers.

 

The ADT is the third group of Arkansas Guardsmen returning from overseas duty this month.  The ADT-2 Team departed the state on December 2, 2010, for their mobilization station, and relieved ADT-1 in Afghanistan on Jan. 19, 2011.

 

During the course of their nearly year-long deployment the team successfully planned, developed and executed scores of agribusiness projects throughout Zabul Province totaling more than $1.3-million. The programs and initiatives significantly increased the capacity of the provincial Agriculture Department to deliver services to rural farming communities and increased confidence in the government.

 

Overall, the efforts of Arkansas’ ADT Team-2 delivered sustainable successes, improving agricultural capacity and economic development for Zabul Province, which was key to the overall counterinsurgency strategy.

 

The ADT personnel are working to complete post deployment out processing at Camp Atterbury, Ind., before returning to Arkansas in time for the holidays this week.

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