In a brief ceremony on Monday, Dec. 21, the Oklahoma Army National Guard's 1-45th Agri-business Development Team (ADT) took control of the ADT mission in the Paktya and West Paktika provinces of eastern Afghanistan from the 1-16th ADT of the Tennessee National Guard.

The transfer of authority ceremony was commemorated by the casing of Tennessee's ADT guidon and the uncasing of Oklahoma's ADT guidon. Commander of the Okla. ADT, Col. Mike Chase of Chandler, held the guidon as Master Sgt. Bobby Howard, of Depew, uncased it as a symbolic representation of the unit's potential, and the faith and trust that the command has in this unit's ability to serve and protect.

The 1-45th ADT has assumed responsibility for all on-going agriculture projects that the 1-16th began and will soon begin new projects based on the needs of the Afghan people in their area of operation.

Agriculture makes up 80 percent of the Afghan economy and approximately 85 percent of the population is engaged in some form of agriculture. Current ADT projects include watershed restoration, cool storage facility construction, as well as, training on the care and harvesting of livestock and poultry. Additional projects will progress during the spring planting season.

The 1-45th is comprised of more than 60 Guardsmen from various places throughout Oklahoma. The ADT members have talent and expertise in areas such as agronomy, animal husbandry, veterinary medicine, etc. and are part of an initiative to help educate and empower the Afghan people by sharing their knowledge and training.

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