U.S. Military Troops Coming Home From Afghanistan
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held their first joint press conference at the Pentagon on May 6.
Austin said the military is carrying out President Biden’s orders to end America’s longest war by the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and send thousands of troops home between now and then.
Professionals On the Move
“We’ve been steadily transferring functions and responsibilities to the Afghan security forces for considerable amount of time,” Milley said.
“To date, we have closed one base in Helmand; approximately 60 C-17 equivalents have departed with various equipment and rolling stock, and over 1,300 pieces of equipment have been transferred either to the Defense Logistics Agency for destruction or to the ANSF for their use.”
“I am enormously proud of the men and women of the military, who are now — and who have for the past 20 years — dedicated themselves to an important mission,” the secretary said. “That mission is now changing. But they are meeting the challenge with the same professionalism with which they have met every task assigned to them.”
NATO Allies also began to draw down forces from the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan this month and expects it to be complete within a few months.
In a joint press conference with the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “Our drawdown will be orderly, coordinated, and deliberate.” He added, “We went into Afghanistan together, we have adjusted our posture together, and we are united in leaving together.
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