Central IL soldiers prepare for deployment to Afghanistan | Best Stories

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – Soldiers from central Illinois will soon be deployed to Afghanistan with their Polish counterparts.

A total of six soldiers were recognized on Friday at the Illinois military camp, located at Camp Lincoln in Springfield. They are part of the Bilateral Integrated Personnel Team (BEST) A24.

Those selected to be part of the mission were chosen for their training and skills, the Illinois Department of Military Affairs said in a press release. They will work with allied and coalition forces to “train, advise and assist” institutions within the Afghan defense ministry and interior ministry, the statement said.

Brig. General Richard Neely, the adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard, told the six soldiers that they would be involved in something bigger than themselves.

“This is a special mission, very few States are deploying with their partner countries. Your mission is special within the National Guard, ”said Neely. “Thank you for leaving civilian life to serve. You represent us both at home and abroad.

According to Major General Michael Zerbonia, assistant adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard, the soldiers are on a “difficult mission.”

“You have two bosses for the next seven months,” he said. “You have the important role of working with a key ally and assisting them in combat.”

The Illinois National Guard has been a partner of Poland for 26 years. The program was established in 1993, and Illinois National Guard troops have co-deployed with Polish soldiers on each of their rotations since 2003.


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