ADT 5 establishes groundwork for mission ahead

Story by Staff Sgt. Sidney Hoffman, ADT 5 Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative

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Capt. Forrest Holdsworth (4th from left), of Kentucky’s Agribusiness Development Team 5, speaks with district leaders and local farmers in Arghandab District of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 23, 2012. The meeting was the first for ADT 5 to meet with locals and continue relationships improved by ADT 4. (Courtesy photo)

KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan Members of Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team 5 traveled to Argandab District Headquarters to meet with District Governor Haji Shaw Mohammed in late December, 2012. This was the first meeting between ADT 5 and the governor since arriving in country. The conference focused on continuing the positive relationship established by Kentucky’s ADT 4. According to Maj. Bill Hatfield, the Argandab District has been very successful in self-governance and agriculture development over the past year. Their visit was to reinforce these improvements by highlighting the importance this meeting holds for future operations in the area.

“When I was here last, you would barely ever see a car and now traffic jams are the norm when traveling through the city,” said ADT 5 commander Col. Bob Hayter while traveling through the bustling city of Kandahar.

His statement highlighted the progress being made in security and commerce in the past seven years. Hayter had previously been assigned to RC South in 2005 as a Military Training Team Embedded trainer with the Afghan National Army and had been stationed in Kandahar for over a year.

As they traveled through the Argandab area, several members of the agribusiness team remarked on how different this district was from the western districts they had visited.  They noted the abundance of trees and green spaces that even the bleakness of the Afghan winter could not hide.

According to team’s lead civil engineer, Capt. Forrest Holdsworth, “This could be attributed to the district’s position higher in the Argandab River watershed, thereby producing an abundance of vegetation compared to districts like Panjwai and Maiwand.  In Kandahar Province, water is a valuable commodity which has the greatest impact on the agricultural success of the region, yet is it also one of the most scarce.”

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Capt. Forrest Holdsworth (middle), of Kentucky’s Agribusiness Development Team 5, speaks with district leaders and local farmers in Arghandab District of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 23, 2012. ADT 5 will assist local farmers in agricultural techniques such as controlling pomegranate diseases and managing water resources.  (Courtesy photo)

Shaw thanked all of them for coming and discussed with the team some of the agricultural challenges facing his district and how he hoped that ADT 5 might be able to assist over the coming year.

Among his priorities were: training the farmers of Argandab on more advanced farming techniques used in America; training on pomegranate diseases that have been prevalent over the past year; and helping farmers properly manage water resources in the district.

The Governor was glad to hear one of the primary objectives of  ADT 5 was to train farmers in water management in an effort to help get the most of this limited resource.  Hayter expressed to the Governor that such assistance would gladly be provided by the team, and they would immediately begin working  to help accomplish these goals.

Shaw expressed he had been very pleased with the efforts of the previous agribusiness team and hoped his work with ADT 5 would be equally as successful. Hayter thanked the Governor for his remarks and expressed his hope for similar successes over the course of the next few months. The KYADT V staff felt that Argandab District was well positioned for the transition of ISAF over the next year and would be ready for 2014.

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