Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team 2 arrives home from Afghanistan

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story by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard public affairs

More than 300 friends and family members gathered at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on May 1, 2011, to welcome home the Kentucky National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team II. Comprised of about 60 Army and Air National Guardsmen, KYADT II just returned from a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan, where team members worked to make Afghani farmers become agriculturally self-sufficient, fostered business opportunities through a women's-empowerment initiative and provided force protection. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – – The Kentucky National Guard welcomed home more than 60 Soldiers and Airmen today at the Kentucky Air Guard Base from the Agribusiness Development Team 2,

Sgt. Shahid M. Iqbal hugs his fiance, Kara Feese, during a welcome home ceremony held May 1, 2011, at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., for members of the Kentucky National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team II. Comprised of about 60 Army and Air National Guardsmen, KYADT II just returned from a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan, where they worked to make Afghani farmers become agriculturally self-sufficient, fostered business opportunities through a women's-empowerment initiative and provided force protection. Iqbal and Feese are getting married in July. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

which recently returned from their deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom.

“The Ag-mission for these Soldiers and Airmen was so very unique,” said Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s adjutant general. “This team put Kentucky on the world map for the outstanding job they did.”

The KY ADT deployed to Afghanistan last July to help Afghani farmers become agriculturally self-sufficient, create business opportunities through a women’s empowerment initiative and provide force protection.

1st Lt. Travis Riley led the security forces attached to the team and is glad to have every one of his fellow troops home safe.

“It’s such a relief to have made it home,” said Riley. “I know each and everyone of us couldn’t wait to see our Families as we got off that bus.”

The Soldiers and Airmen also got the opportunity to work alongside French, New Zealand and Korean coalition forces covering the largest area in Afghanistan for any of the ADT’s.

Congressman John Yarmuth, 3rd District of Kentucky representative, was in attendance as well to greet the troops and their Families after the yearlong deployment.

“I congratulate you on a job well done,” said Congressman Yarmuth. “You’ve made us all so proud and we’re so glad you’veĀ  made it home safe.”

For more photos of today’s event, please visit our Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/kyngpao/

Please check out the Louisville Courier-Journal’s story on today’s event: Louisville Courier-Journal

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