Kentucky Guard Agribusiness Development Team 4 mobilizes for Afghanistan

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

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1st Lt. Wesley Newton holds his son during the Kentucky National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team 4 farewell ceremony at the Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church in Midway, Ky. Jan. 3. The team will replace KY ADT 3 in Kandahar, Afghanistan in the coming weeks. (photo by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

MIDWAY, Ky. — More than 60 members of the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team 4 were honored during a farewell ceremony today at the Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church in Midway, Ky.

“This mission for the Guard is unique because of the assets we have in our ranks,” said Maj. Walt Leaumont, Executive Officer for the ADT. “Our Soldiers and Airmen work full-time civilian jobs that give them the skill-set necessary for what we’re doing here… which is helping to build viable businesses.”

KYADT4 is charged with sustaining the relationships built between former KYADTs and Afghan farmers to ensure the country becomes agriculturally self-sufficient. The task force is composed of Kentucky Army and Air National Guardsmen with a variety of skills in agricultural matters.

Staff Sgt. James "Mark" Arnold holds his son during the closing prayer of the Kentucky National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team 4 farewell ceremony at the Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church in Midway, Ky. Jan. 3. The team will replace KY ADT 3 in Kandahar, Afghanistan in the coming weeks. (photo by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

This is the fourth agribusiness mission for the Kentucky National Guard.  KYADT3 is currently in Afghanistan and is expected to return in the coming weeks.

The unit will train at Camp Atterbury, Ind., for several weeks before deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“Our first three agribusiness development teams have proven themselves as warriors and as peacemakers,” remarked Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general of Kentucky. “You all have done an outstanding job in preparing for this mission and I know that you will go above and beyond what your sister teams have accomplished.”

The Kentucky National Guard currently has more than 400 Soldiers and Airmen deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait. More than 14,000 troops have mobilized for the War on Terror since 2001.

Members of the Kentucky National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team 4 were asked to stand to be honored during a farewell ceremony at the Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church in Midway, Ky. Jan. 3. The team will replace KY ADT 3 in Kandahar, Afghanistan in the coming weeks. (photo by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

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