Wis. troops to get earlier return from Afghanistan

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Eleven members of a Wisconsin National Guard team are returning from Afghanistan a few months ahead of schedule as part of the overall American withdrawal.

The troops are part of the Guard's 97th Agribusiness Development Team. The unit originally mobilized in January along with 11 soldiers and airmen. They were expected to be in Afghanistan for most of the year, but they'll be returning to the U.S. in a few weeks.

The team's role was initially to teach Afghani farmers how to farm and herd more effectively. The goals included increasing agricultural productivity and improving irrigation.

But once they arrived their mission was shifted toward administrative functions, such as helping farmers coordinate veterinary vaccination schedules. One staff sergeant also conducted classes on beekeeping and drying fruits.


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