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72 Local Soldiers Depart for Afghanistan Today | Events

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72 Local Soldiers Depart for Afghanistan Today
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72 soldiers from the Maryland and Virginia National Guard are being deployed to Afghanistan today. Yesterday, Virginia Guard’s Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division conducted a departure ceremony for these Soldiers. Families and friends of the Soldiers gathered on Fort Belvoir’s Long Parade Field to say goodbye before they leave for what is expected to be one year.

What is unique about this group of soliders is that they are all very senior with high rank and have been in duty between 15-25 years. They will be part of the International Security Assistance Force, a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan. The nature of their mission is to work with the Afghanistan National Security Forces Development Assistance Bureau (ADAB).  In other words, they will be working with senior leaders on assessment and training for the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police.

During the farewell reception, I had the privilege of speaking to Colonel Paul Griffin of Norfolk, VA. He was joined by his wife, Kathy Griffin, and will be leaving her and their two young daughters today to enter federal active service for duty in Afghanistan.

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