Newest Agribusiness Development Team headed for Afghanistan

Story and photos by Sgt. Scott Raper, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Members of the Kentucky National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team 4 prepare to take cover during a simulated enemy attack as part of the unit's culminating training exercise at Camp Atterbury, Ind., Jan. 25. The team will soon deploy to Afghanistan to assist with agriculture and business needs of provincial locals. (Photo by Sgt. Scott Raper, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

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CAMP ATTERBURY, Indiana – Members of the newest Kentucky National Guard Agribusiness Development Team finished up their final pre-mobilization training requirement recently at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, and are ready for deployment.

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Sgt. Bobby Sizemore, a member of the Kentucky National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team 4 waves as he prepares to take his position in the gunner's hatch as part of the unit's culminating training exercise at Camp Atterbury, Ind., Jan. 25. (Photo by Sgt. Scott Raper, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

“This is our final step,” said Team Commander Col. Aaron Barrier.  “This is our Culminating Training Exercise.  We have focused on ag-specific training, vehicle training and counterinsurgency training.  We showed up here pretty well trained, now I believe we are well prepared to conduct a successful mission overseas.”

Sgt. Bobby Sizemore, a member of the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team 4 waves as he prepares to take his position in the gunner’s hatch as part of the unit’s culminating training exercise at Camp Atterbury, Ind., Jan. 25. The team will soon deploy to Afghanistan to assist with agriculture and business needs of provincial locals.

Upon completing the necessary instruction for individual Soldiers, the CTE brings all facets of team training together prior to their departure overseas.  ADT 4 will depart soon for Afghanistan as their fellow Kentucky Guardsmen in ADT 3 prepare to return home

With the fourth mission of its kind, experience is growing for the Kentucky teams.  ADT 4 includes four members who have done it all before.  Sgt. Tiffany Teegarden, Staff Sgt. Isaac Jones, Sgt. 1st Class Catherine Corson, both from Nicholasville, Ky., and Maj. Jim Rush of Alvaton are all making their second trip to Afghanistan to again assist with the special assignment.

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Members of the Kentucky National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team 4 participate in a simulated meeting with Afghan locals as part of the unit's culminating training exercise at Camp Atterbury, Ind., Jan. 25. (Photo by Sgt. Scott Raper, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

“We can build and focus on our experience for this mission,” said Corson.  “We all bring our own piece to the fight.  I believe in this.  It’s a mission to help build [Afghanistan] and it’s a key to winning the war.”

According to Jones, it is not your typical mission.  And he is correct.  The team is a not a direct combat unit; instead, their objectives are to assist provincial locals in agriculture and business.  Just like three prior teams in the country, ADT 4 will deploy to help Afghans improve their quality of life.

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