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Colorado Army National Guard joins Slovenes to train Afghan National Army 
Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, May 7, 2010

CONTACT:
Army Capt. Michael Odgers
(720) 785-3860

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (5/10/10)The Colorado Army National Guard will hold a brief departure ceremony Monday, May 10 at 11:30 a.m. in the Sparks Auditorium at the Colorado National Guard state headquarters in Centennial, Colo.

Twelve COARNG Soldiers will leave their jobs and communities to join approximately 30 Slovene soldiers, and together, as part of an Operational Mentor and Liaison Team, they will train and mentor members of the Afghan National Army during a deployment that is scheduled for six months in Afghanistan.

“It always gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see Soldiers from Colorado making a difference in our own communities,” said Col. Dana M. Capozzella, COARNG commander, “but to see them deploy today for a multi-national mission that will help bring security to communities in Afghanistan brings an incredible amount of pride to our organization.”
 
The Colorado and Slovene soldiers will instruct and mentor soldiers from the Afghan National Army in subjects such as operational planning and mission execution, in an effort to increase the overall capabilities of the Afghan Security Forces.

The Colorado Soldiers are expected to arrive in Afghanistan in early fall 2010 after a train-up period in Fort Polk, La., and Germany. Like most deploying units, the soldiers will learn specific theater requirements, learn language and culture, and will learn how to teach and mentor the ANA.

The Colorado National Guard and the Republic of Slovenia have developed a strong relationship of trust and cooperation through more than 17 years as part of the National Guard State Partnership Program.

The OMLT program is an important part of the NATO-International Security and Assistance Force’s contribution towards the development of the Afghan National Army.  They greatly contribute to the ISAF mission of assisting the government of Afghanistan in establishing and maintaining a safe and secure environment. The ISAF's key military tasks include: assisting the Afghan government in extending its authority across the country, conducting stability and security operations in coordination with the Afghan national security forces, mentoring and supporting the ANA, and supporting Afghan government programs to disarm illegally armed groups.

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For Assignment Editors: Media wishing to cover this event must contact Capt. Michael Odgers at (720) 785-3860 for access to this event.  Once confirmed, media covering this event should report to the south gate of the Joint Force Headquarters-Colorado complex located at 6848 S. Revere Pkwy., Centennial, Colo., 80112 no later than 11:00 a.m. May 10.

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5/7/2010