FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, Nov. 4, 2011
CONTACT: Air Force Maj. Elena O’Bryan
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (11/4/11) – The Colorado National Guard will hold a welcome home ceremony for Operational Mentor and Liaison Team-2 Nov. 5 at 1:30 p.m.
The mission of OMLT-2, made up of 12 Colorado Guardsmen completely integrated with soldiers from the Republic of Slovenia, was to train and mentor an Afghan National Army battalion in order to provide security for the people of Afghanistan.
The team trained in Louisiana, Slovenia and Germany prior to deploying to western Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The OMLT program is an important part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force’s contribution toward the development of the Afghan National Security Forces.
In addition to providing training and mentoring of the Afghan National Army, the OMLT also served as a liaison between the ANA and ISAF forces, coordinating the planning of operations and ensuring that the ANA units received necessary enabling support (including close air support, casualty and medical evacuation). They achieved this by creating a U.S./Slovenian Command and Staff Mentor Team and ensuring each Line Company Mentor Team consisted of two U.S. and two Slovenian mentors – a true joint partnership.
During their time in Afghanistan, the OMLT completed more than 40 medevac and casualty evacuation missions, and more than 24 ground assault convoys and combat operations. The team worked with the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Defense Service, mentoring them in subjects such as operational planning and mission execution to increase the overall capabilities.
This team also deepened the U.S./Slovenian relationship on both a personal and professional level. Awards included eight Bronze Stars, four Army Commendation Medals, one Army Achievement Medal, and three Slovenian Army Medals for Defense Cooperation 4 Class.
The Colorado and Slovenian Soldiers instructed and mentored soldiers from the Afghan National Army
This is the second of four Colorado Army National Guard OMLT missions. OMLT-4 deployed Afghanistan Oct 28.
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.
When a National Guard state partner nation agrees to participate in an OMLT, that nation often requests a team from the partnered National Guard state to deploy to Afghanistan with them.
“Our relationship with Slovenia grows every time our Soldiers train and deploy together,” said Adjutant General of Colorado Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards. “I have no doubt we will continue to learn a great deal from one another.”
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. This program has existed since 1993.
During the decade since 9/11, Colorado National Guard Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen have deployed more than 6,000 times while maintaining state emergency response capabilities and supporting homeland defense missions.
For Assignment Editors: Media wishing to cover this event must make coordination with Air Force Maj. Elena O’Bryan. Location of the deployment ceremony will be Joint Force Headquarters-Colorado complex located at 6848 S. Revere Pkwy., Centennial, Colo., 80112.
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