Fort Gordon deployment to help Afghan farmers - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Fort Gordon deployment to help Afghan farmers

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

The Georgia Army National Guard sends the Agribusiness Development Team to the Middle East to help Afghan farmers. Fort Gordon held a deployment ceremony for the 201st Regional Support Group Friday morning.

Colonel Barry Beach and 48 soldiers said their goodbyes to family and friends. They are heading to Afghanistan for nine months for a unique mission.

"Well the biggest goal is to get everyone back safely," said Colonel Beach. "While we are deployed, the goal is to have some positive influence on the governmental officials over there and the local populous." 

The 201st Regional Support Group is a part of the Agribusiness Development Team. The University of Georgia trained the soldiers for the mission in agriculture science and livestock care to assist Afghan farmers in their agriculture methods. 

UGA assistant dean of College of Agriculture & Environmental Science told FOX54 the soldiers are well prepared. 

"They dug in; they learned everything they needed to. They learned the climate, the soils, the crops that are being grown and we tried our best to give them a good background on what we thought they were going to see when they hit the ground in Afghanistan," said Assistant Dean Steve Brown.

Mixed feelings and emotions filled the gym prior to their departure. Bittersweet for soldiers and families saying good-bye to loved ones, for the betterment of mankind.

"What we are going do is try to provide Afghan solutions to Afghan problems," said 1Lt. Casey Durham.  

A mission these soldiers are determined to solve and return early 2014.

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