War on Terrorism

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Minnesota OMLT deploys with Croatians to Afghanistan


By Spc. Thomas Keeler
Minnesota National Guard

(3/1/10) -- The Minnesota National Guard announced today that 13 Soldiers, led by Maj. David Baer, will deploy to Afghanistan as part of the third Operational Mentoring Liaison Team (OMLT III) from the state. This OMLT is a special partnership with the Croatian Armed Forces, which began in January 2009 with the deployment of the first OMLT team. It is an extension of the State Partnership Program.

OMLT III Soldiers will serve alongside their Croatian partners in Afghanistan as part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

They will coach, teach, and mentor an Afghan National Army battalion, in operational planning and mission execution in order to increase the overall capabilities of the Afghan Security Forces.

The OMLT III Soldiers are expected to relieve the OMLT II in the northern half of Afghanistan sometime in June or July, after a brief train up period in Croatia, and are scheduled to be gone for no more than a year.

The OMLTs greatly contribute to the ISAF mission of assisting the government of Afghanistan in establishing and maintaining a safe and secure environment.

ISAF's key military tasks include: assisting the Afghan government in extending its authority across the country, conducting stability and security operations in co-ordination 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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