Kentucky's Agribusiness Development Team 3 departs for Afghanistan

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Story by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

The Soldiers and Airmen of the Kentucky AgriBusiness Development Team 3 stand in formation during a farewell ceremony at the Air National GUard base in Louisville prior to their departure for Afghanistan, Mar. 4, 2011. Kentucky ADT3 will help Afghan locals to regain their agricultural heritage by teaching modern farming and livestock skills as well as the business of agriculture. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Hiler, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nearly 60 members of the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team 3 and their Families were honored during a farewell ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville today.

KYADT3 Task Force Hurricane is charged with sustaining the relationships built between former KYADTs and Afghan farmers. The goal is to ensure Afghanistan becomes agriculturally self-sufficient. The task force is composed of Army and Air National Guardsmen with a variety of skills in agriculture.

“I am deeply humbled to be allowed to serve alongside these Soldiers and Airmen,” said Col. Neil Mullaney, commander of ADT 3. “But the real heroes among us are the troops’ Families that we leave behind. They did not volunteer for this sacrifice, they are our heroes and we applaud them.”

Army Guardsman Sgt. Adam Reints will deploy as a part of the security force team for KYADT3. This is the second deployment.

Army Sgt. Adam Rients enjoys a moment of laughter with his wife, Christy, and his four year old son, Jacob, after a farewell ceremony for Kentucky AgriBusiness Development Team 3 at the Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Mar. 4, 2011. Sgt. Rients, whose wife is also a Sergeant in the Kentucky Army National Guard, is part of the security forces for Ky. ADT3 and will help provide protection for agricultural team members while they work with farmers and businesses in rural Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Hiler, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

“I’m proud to have been one of the ones selected and am anxious to get started. It’s such an important mission over there and we’re making such a huge difference,” Reints said. “I’m ready to take care of our own.”

While he is in Afghanistan protecting members of the KYADT3, Reints knows his extended Guard Family will also look after his wife, fellow Guardsman Sgt. Christy Reints.

“As a Family member and a fellow Guardsman, I definitely support my husband and the ADT mission,” said Christy. “It will be a hardship for us, just like all the other Families, especially because we’re now expecting our second baby.”

Christy said she will lean on the Kentucky National Guard resources to help her through this deployment.

“The Kentucky Guard has such a great support system though and I know I can count on the Family programs as well as my Family Readiness Group,” she said.

This is the third agribusiness mission for the Kentucky National Guard.  KYADT2 is currently in Afghanistan and is expected to return in the coming weeks.

Army Sgt. Joshua Martin of Murray, Ky., a security force team leader for AgriBusiness Development Team 3, holds his three year old son, Gabriel, prior to a farewell ceremony for the unit which is deploying to Afghanistan, Mar. 4, 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Hiler, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

According to Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, the agribusiness development mission is one that was seemingly made for the Kentucky National Guard.

“When asked by the National Guard Bureau if we could provide an ADT for the mission, I emphatically said ‘yes’ and in fact, would likely provide the best ADT in the nation,” he said.

“That has held true for the first two teams and continues to hold true for this team,” he said.

The Kentucky National Guard currently has more than 170 Soldiers and Airmen deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Nearly 14,000 troops have mobilized for the War on Terror since 2001.

***Searching for “ADT” on www.Kentuckyguard.com will bring up more than 30 stories relating to the Agribusiness Development Teams for the Kentucky National Guard.

(click below for media coverage of ADT 3’s departure)

Lexington Herald-Leader news coverage

Fox-41 Louisville news coverage

John Settle, age 3, peers over the shoulder of his father, Lt. Col. Blake Settle of Joint Forces Headquarters in Frankfort, Ky. after a farewell ceremony for Kentucky AgriBusiness Development Team 3 at the Air National Guard Base in Louisville, March 4, 2011. Lt. Col. Settle will be an Agriculture Team Leader for Kentucky ADT3 in Panchir Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Hiler, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

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