About 20 Utah National Guard soldiers will be deploying today to mentor members of the Afghan National Army for much of 2008.

The soldiers are to help Afghan army members learn counterinsurgency techniques and to "help them defeat terrorism within its borders," Guard officials said in a statement.

Maj. Tyler Smith said Utah soldiers have been training for the past four months.

"Some of that training includes studying the history, culture and customs of Afghanistan," she said. Soldiers also learned some of the country's Dari language