A specialized, Springfield-based Army National Guard team recently returned to Illinois from Afghanistan.
The five soldiers returned to Illinois on December 10th, after being deployed to Afghanistan in May. They were part of the Bilateral Embedded Support Team (BEST) A-17 and were mobilized with Polish Land Forces. In support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the soldiers were part of Task Force White Eagle in NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. They trained, advised, and assisted those in the Afghan National Defense Forces. With their Afghan counterparts, they also conducted more than 400 advisory and operational missions. They enhanced the infrastructure and physical security, as well as improved the quality of life while they were stationed in Bagram. As a result, members of the team received commendations and awards from both the United States and Polish Military.
BEST A-17 returned to airports nearest to their homes, including Chicago, Springfield, and Bloomington, resulting in no formal “Welcome Home” cermony.