Agribusiness Development Team 5 departs for Afghanistan

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

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Capt. Joseph Fontanez hugs a family friend during a departure ceremony for the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team 5 at the Kentucky State University’s Research Farm in Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 23, 2012. ADT 5 will deploy to Afghanistan for a year to assist local farmers in becoming agriculturally self-sufficient. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky.— Approximately 39 members of the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team 5 departed for Afghanistan Oct. 23, 2012.

To see all the photos from the event, please click HERE.

Click here to see WKYT TV’s coverage of the ceremony!

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, and the Kentucky National Guard Command Staff joined friends and families of the team members at the Kentucky State University Demonstration Farm in Frankfort to send the unit off.

“This mission is certainly unique,” said Tonini. “The ADT mission was designed to rebuild Afghanistan’s economy and give stability to it’s government.”

“Because of our background in agriculture and the stellar reputation of the Kentucky Guard, we’ve led the way in providing these skillsets to the Afghan people.”

ADT 5 will take the reins from Kentucky’s ADT 4 who has been in Afghanistan since February. The mission of this team is to continue the work set forth by the previous four Kentucky units in assisting local Afghans in becoming agriculturally self-sufficient and develop their agriculture marketplace.

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Col. Bob Hayter, Commander of the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team 5 speaks to Soldiers, Airmen and family members during the unit’s departure ceremony at the Kentucky State University’s Research Farm in Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 23, 2012. The unit will be the fifth Kentucky such team to deploy to Afghanistan, taking over for ADT 4 in December. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Sgt. Scott Raymond)

In addition to agriculture activities, ADT 5 will also be instrumental in coordinating an effort with the Kentucky F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America), Kandahar University in Afghanistan and non-profit organizations to create programs to improve the incomes of Afghan farmers.

The team is made up of Airmen, Soldiers and civilian agricultural specialists with a variety of skills and backgrounds in agriculture matters.

Col. Bob Hayter is the commander of ADT 5 and feels fully prepared for the mission they’re about to embark on.

“We have 5 more weeks of training before we put boots on the ground in Afghanistan and I know we could go today. We’re that ready.”

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