Patriots Point Development Authority board member Col. Zeb Williams will deploy to Afghanistan in the coming weeks to serve as a legal mentor for a year.

Williams, an attorney from Columbia, will be assigned to IJC Afghanistan (International Security Assistance Force Joint Command) at Camp Stone in Western Afghanistan. Camp Stone is adjacent to Camp Zafar, headquarters of the Afghan National Army 207th ANA Corps.

During his 12-month deployment, Williams will serve as U.S. legal mentor to the 207th ANA Corps Staff Judge Advocate, focusing on rule of law and military justice issues. He expressed hope that this work will strengthen the foundation for credibility regarding the Afghan National Army’s ability to follow the rule of law and to zealously prosecute offenders.

“I have greatly enjoyed my interactions with Afghans,” Williams said. “I think there is a misconception in the United States that the people don’t want us there; but the Afghan people I’ve dealt with on a one-one-one basis have always been very happy that the coalition was present and helping to establish and maintain security.

“They are very generous, warm and gregarious people and that story hasn’t always been told,” he added, noting that Afghanistan has been in a constant state of warfare since 1979, when the Soviets rolled in. “This has been the longest period of relative stability since before 1979. Afghans are very appreciative of efforts and sacrifices made by members of the coalition. ... and I am really looking forward to working with them again.”

In addition to his duties on the Patriots Point board, Williams serves as a member of the South Carolina Army National Guard and is the senior legal counsel for the S.C. Legislative Council. This is his third tour to Afghanistan. He deployed previously in 2007 and 2009.