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War in Afghanistan (2001-present)

Elite Md. National Guard unit teams up with NATO commandos

Elite Md. National Guard unit teams up with NATO commandos

Special operations leaders with the Maryland Army National Guard are taking on a new mission: Helping to train and lead NATO commandos.

The 40 soldiers of the Towson-based Special Operations Detachment were assigned to work with NATO last year. The unit is composed of Guardsmen like Master Sgt. Ernest Wright, who has been in the Army for more than 25 years and earned a Bronze Star for battling the Taliban alongside Afghan militiamen.

"We understand what they do and how they do it," Wright said. "In many cases, we've done it firsthand."

Special operations encompasses a broad range of activities: targeted strikes on suspected terrorists in remote...

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