CENTENNIAL, Colo. (5/20/11) – The Colorado Army National Guard will hold a welcome home ceremony for about 10 Citizen-Soldiers from the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team-1 on May 21, at 10 a.m. in the Sparks Auditorium at the Colorado National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Centennial, Colo.
These Soldiers are part of the first of three OMLT teams, whose mission is to train and mentor an Afghan National Army battalion to provide security for the people of Afghanistan.
The Soldiers from this team joined approximately 90 soldiers from the Republic of Slovenia during a 13-month mobilization in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Colorado and Slovene Soldiers instructed and mentored Soldiers from the Afghan National Army over a period of seven months in subjects such as operational planning and mission execution to increase the overall capabilities of the Afghan Security Forces.
“Each member serving on this team demonstrated outstanding devotion to duty by volunteering to deploy on short notice for a high-visibility mission of strategic importance for our state, nation, and the countries of Slovenia and Afghanistan,” said the Adjutant General of Colorado, Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards. “These Soldiers established excellent rapport with their Afghan National Army counterparts, working with them daily to improve their capacity.”
The Colorado National Guard’s partnership with the Republic of Slovenia is in its 18th year and was among the first global partnerships of its kind.
The National Guard’s State Partnership Program establishes and sustains enduring relationships with partner nations through military to military, military to civilian, and civilian to civilian exchanges.
The program has existed since 1993.
The COARNG's third OMLT team will be departing for service later this month. The second team is currently serving overseas.
During the 10 years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Colorado National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have deployed more than 6,000 times while maintaining state emergency response capabilities and supporting 24/7/365 homeland defense missions.
For Assignment Editors: Media wishing to cover this event should arrive at the south gate of the Joint Force Headquarters-Colorado complex located at 6848 S. Revere Pkwy., Centennial, Colo., 80112 no later than 9:30 a.m. May 21.