Final Kentucky ag team receives prestigious award

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

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Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear presents Kentucky’s Agribusiness Development Team 5 with the Governor’s Outstanding Unit Citation during the Joint Force Headquarters’ Christmas dinner held at the Capital Plaza hotel in Frankfort, Ky., Dec. 7. ADT5 was rewarded for their outstanding meritorious unit performance during their deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Brandy Mort, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky National Guard has sent five agriculture development teams to Afghanistan since 2007.  In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the teams strived to improve the capabilities of local farmers across Afghanistan with a unique approach to the civilians in a country at war.  The Soldiers and Airmen took knowledge of irrigation, food preservation and veterinary medicine to the people. Skills that would prove just as important as the Service members’ military training.

In October of 2013, that mission came to an end as the final Kentucky ag team safely returned from their deployment.

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Col. Bob Hayter presents Capt. Forrest Holdsworth of Agribusiness Development Team 5 the Governor’s Outstanding Unit Citation in Louisville, Ky., Dec. 13, 2013. Each member of the unit received the awards which was presented by Governor Steve Beshear a week earlier. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Sidney Hoffmann)

In recognition of the team’s lasting work in Afghanistan, Agribusiness Development Team 5 was awarded the Governor’s Outstanding Unit Citation Dec. 7, 2013. Governor Steve Beshear presented the unit commander, Col. Bob Hayter with the award during the governor’s annual Christmas luncheon with military families in Frankfort.

One week later, Hayter shared the award with the 38 other members of the ADT 5 at the unit’s Yellow Ribbon event in Louisville, Dec. 15.

“It was a great tour for me and is a tremendous honor to be recognized for what we were able to accomplish in Afghanistan,” said Hayter.  “I am thankful and fortunate to have been a part of this mission as my last deployment before I retire.  If the team takes anything away from this mission, it was a combination of leadership, division, correction and execution that made us a success.”

To see more photos from the award ceremony, click here.

ADT 5 is only the second unit to received the citation since its inception in 2007. The 201st Engineers received the first in 2012.

The award was established to acknowledge a unit’s contribution to the mission for which they were deployed.  ADT 5 certainly fit the bill as they were able to build a veterinary clinic, establish a youth agribusiness program and provide long lasting skills and resources to continue to expand and enrich many surrounding communities in Afghanistan.

Master Sgt. Zakiya Taylor, an Air National Guardsman from Louisville served as a project manger for ADT 5. She said the award validates the hard work of the unit.

“The deployment was a rewarding experience,” she said. “I was able to work with some amazing young people who were in charge of their villages, but were hungry for knowledge and skills.  Receiving this award brings the meaning of our mission to life by Governor Beshear’s acknowledgement.”

 

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