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Indiana ADTs recognized for improving lives of ordinary Afghans

By Douglas Wissing
Special Correspondent

Since 2009, the five Indiana National Guard Agribusiness Development Teams have facilitated a wide range of projects in wild Khost Province, Afghanistan: 

  • ADT irrigation projects have reduced soil erosion and improved water retention, both vital in this arid, rugged land.
  • Soil testing highlighted the need for composting to increase organic matter in arable fields.
  • Greenhouses and root cellars introduced Afghan-appropriate technology. Better seeds promised improved yields and reduced disease.
  • Poultry and beekeeping projects offered assistance to Afghan women.
  • The ADT’s animal husbandry programs provided basic health and nutrition assistance for the tribesmen’s flocks of sheep,goats and cattle.  

In November 2010, the Department of the Army awarded the Indiana National Guard Agribusiness Development Team a Meritorious Unit Commendation for its development work with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, which “greatly increased the regional government’s capabilities while simultaneously improving the lives of the Afghan people.”

With the U.S. military’s projected 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan approaching, the 5-19th ADT has accordingly shifted to an “advise and assist” role with its Afghan counterparts.

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