U.S. Troops Deploy With Polish Counterparts For Afghan War

Sgt. David Sworobowicz soon will be putting his Polish language skills to good use in Afghanistan.

Sworobowicz, a Springfield resident who grew up near Chicago, is one of 18 Illinois National Guard soldiers who are deploying to Afghanistan with a Polish army unit. Their mission is to help the Afghan government provide security and build infrastructure in that country.

As part of his duties, Sworobowicz will translate between the Polish soldiers and Illinois Guard personnel.

“My family is from Poland, and I grew up speaking Polish in my household,” Sworobowicz said. “My parents sent me to Polish school to learn how to read and write Polish. When I was a kid, I never knew what I’d be using it for. Joining the military, it came into good use.”

The 18 Illinois Guard members come from across the state, and were chosen for their individual skills. They volunteered for the mission, and a deployment ceremony was held for them at Camp Lincoln Tuesday.

Col. Thomas Purple of Rochester, commander of the group, said the team includes specialists in intelligence, operations, logistics and communications.

“We’re from all over Illinois,” Purple said. “We have school teachers, police officers, full-time Guardsmen, people who work at Caterpillar, and people who have their own businesses. It’s a wide variety of individuals.”

While in Afghanistan, the Guard members will be working with the Poles on a variety of missions, including security operations.

“We will also be working on projects like bridges, medical facilities, schools and bringing clean water to people. We will be looking at whatcould be useful in that area to support the government,” Purple said.

The Illinois National Guard has had a partnership with Poland since 1993. Since then, the Illinois Army National Guard has participated in more than 30 exercises with Polish land forces.

Purple’s team represents the 14th rotation of Illinois Guard personnel supporting operations in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

The team will leave Thursday for two weeks of training at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, Ind. They will then head to Poland where they will train with Polish forces for about two months and should arrive in Afghanistan in the fall for a six-month deployment.

Jennifer Stockton of Petersburg was one of the family members who attended Tuesday’s ceremony. Her husband, Staff Sgt. John Stockton, is on the team.

The upcoming deployment will be Sgt. Stockton’s third.

Jennifer said the deployments don’t get any easier, but she’s proud of her husband.

“He was in the military when we met. He believes in serving his country,” she said.

John Reynolds can be reached at 788-1524. 

Articles by: John Reynolds

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected]

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]