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Wisconsin Guard unit prepares for field work in Afghanistan

MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin National Guard's 82nd Agribusiness Development Team is more than halfway through with its mobilization training at Camp Atterbury, Ind., and counting the days until it is working with Afghani farmers.

"Our advance party is leaving soon, and the main body is scheduled to leave a little bit after that," said Col. Darrel "A.J." Feucht, 82nd ADT commander, during a visit by senior Wisconsin National Guard leaders Monday (March 12).

The 82nd ADT - the Wisconsin National Guard's first unit formed to help improve the agricultural techniques of Afghani farmers - has spent the past year training on individual and leadership tasks in preparation for its Afghanistan deployment. At Camp Atterbury, the unit has focused on collective training as well as weapons and improvised explosive device reaction and response training.

"We've done a lot of stuff in a short time," said Capt. Scott Ivy, a contracting officer with the 82nd ADT. "It's good training."

"It's a pretty aggressive [training] schedule, but we knew that when we got here," Feucht said. "It was our intent to get the maximum effect in the minimum amount of time at Camp Atterbury - put it all together and see how we function as a squad and a team."

This will be the first deployment for Spc. Andrew Lamoureaux of Marinette, Wis., a member of the 82nd ADT security team.

"My expectations are to blend with the guys, and gain experience," Lamoureaux said. "Gain experiences I can perform throughout the rest of my career - make it real educational."

Feucht said the 1-14th ADT from the Illinois National Guard has offered key guidance on what training to focus on at the mobilization station.

"For the mission we've been tasked with, we will be ready," Feucht said. "We'll be in good shape."

The 82nd ADT will also be known as Joint Task Force Badger in Afghanistan, and adopted the nickname "Dirty Badgers" during its Feb. 4 sendoff ceremony.

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