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Defense secretary visits Bagram, thanks troops

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Katherine Spessa
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Defense Secretary Ash Carter made a visit to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 9, 2016 as part of a round-the-world tour of Defense Department bases to thank service members and discuss U.S. priorities in Afghanistan.

Bagram is the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan, and provides counterterrorism and train, advise and assist support to Afghan forces in the northeast.

 "The interests we are pursuing here are clear and enduring," Carter said, lauding the counterterrorism efforts of coalition service members in Afghanistan and their success in preventing another 9/11-style attack on U.S. soil.

 "The United States’ presence … demonstrates to the world that America is and will remain committed to a sovereign and secure Afghanistan,” he continued.

During his tour of the installation, Carter expressed his sadness at the loss of service members and contractors here after a suicide bombing in November and took the opportunity to thank the medical professionals who cared for the casualties following the incident.

 “That’s something I take very seriously as secretary of defense – putting people in harm’s way,” he said, addressing members of Task Force – Medical at the Craig Joint Theater Hospital. “I wouldn’t be able to do that if I didn’t know that if they are wounded, they have you here to care for them.”