Rusty Dennen covers military affairs and the environment for The Free Lance-Star. .
Area soldiers back from Afghanistan duty
Four Virginia National Guard soldiers from Fredericksburg were among 65 Guard troops returning to Camp Shelby, Miss., over the weekend from service in Afghanistan. The Virginia Guard said in a press release that the soldiers were assigned to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Afghan National Security Force Development Team. They served as advisors and mentors to senior Afghan leaders since November 2011. The unit included about 30 Virginia Guard soldiers assigned to the 29th Infantry Division at Fort Belvoir, and was augmented by soldiers from other units around the state. About 35 troops came from the Maryland National Guard. The team was split among five locations in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city. Plans for their return to Virginia and Maryland have not been finalized.