News: ADT Holds transfer of authority ceremony
Story by 2nd Lt. Davin Fischer
ZABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan – After a week of training and learning job responsibilities from their counterparts, members of the Zabul Agribusiness Development Team 3 took over responsibility of the ADT mission in Zabul province, Afghanistan Nov. 14.
ZADT 3, comprised of soldiers from the Minnesota and Mississippi National Guards, replaced a team from Arkansas that had accomplished much during their nearly yearlong tour, including agricultural seminars in a majority of districts throughout Zabul province, animal vaccination projects, hydrology projects and the forging of a key relationship with Zabul’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock staff.
“I’m extremely proud of our many accomplishments, but the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that we were able to do all of it without accident or serious incident. That’s what I’m most proud of,” said Col. Mark Lumpkin, ZADT 2 commander.
Members of ZADTs 2 and 3, representatives of the Zabul DAIL staff and representatives of the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team took part in the transfer of authority ceremony which included the traditional casing and uncasing of colors.
“We look forward to working with the DAIL this winter to assess the needs and the priorities of the province so the spring planting season is successful,” said Col. Eric Ahlness, ZADT 3 commander.
The new team begins their mission during the winter months, a crucial time for planning and preparation in advance of the planting season and coming year.
“We were greeted by rain upon our arrival to Afghanistan,” continued Ahlness. “Some would look at that as a bad omen, but in a country where water is such an important resource and the success of farmers is often measured by the availability of this scarce resource, I take it as an outstanding start.”
The ADT concept is a National Guard initiative aimed to utilize the civilian agricultural skills of Guard members throughout the United States. ZADT 3 is one of 11 such teams operating in Afghanistan.