Last week Illinois National Guard troops came home from a successful nine-month rotation stationed with Polish troops in Afghanistan:
"During their deployment they worked with Polish Land Forces as part of Task Force White Eagle in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Task Force White Eagle saw more combat than any other Polish military force since World War II.
The Soldiers supported Polish military operations and improved their level of force protection and operational abilities, said Col. Tracey Nelson of Springfield, commander of the BEST A5.
"The impact made in the area of responsibility allows our follow on units to improve on a more manageable situation than the one we arrived in a few short months ago," said Nelson
The deployment was part of the Illinois National Guard's State Partnership Program (SPP) with Poland.
"The purpose of the State Partnership Program (SPP) is to link National Guard states and territories with partner countries for the purpose of fostering mutual interests and establishing long-term relationships. Through the SPP, Illinois Air and Army National Guard service members participate in annual, joint training exercises with military forces of the Republic of Poland."