Deputy Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson provided the following readout:
On his first foreign trip as Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work traveled to Afghanistan June 22-24 to visit U.S. servicemen and women and thank them for their service.
While in Afghanistan, Deputy Secretary Work met with Minister of Defense Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, Minister of Interior Mohammed Omar Daudzai, and other senior Afghanistan government leadership to reiterate the strong U.S. partnership with Afghanistan and emphasized that as we bring the U.S. combat role to a conclusion and begin the new post-2014 Resolute Support assistance mission, we will continue to build a strong and enduring security relationship. He emphasized this continued assistance is dependent upon the prompt signing of the bilateral security agreement by the next president. He commended the progress in security provided by the ANSF, specifically highlighting the security provided for the successful second round of voting in the Afghan presidential election,which was another milestone in Afghanistan's progress toward democracy and a peaceful transfer of executive leadership.
Deputy Secretary Work also met with U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander Gen. Joseph Dunford, and other senior U.S. military commanders to discuss progress made by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), ISAF moving toward the responsible conclusion of its combat mission, and ongoing U.S. retrograde efforts.
In addition to the series of high level meetings, Deputy Secretary Work traveled to several coalition operating locations and visited with ISAF, NATO and Afghan forces in Kabul, Bagram, and Jalalabad to commend them on their ongoing efforts and successes. At each location Deputy Secretary Work met with deployed service members to express Secretary Hagel's and his appreciation for their service and that of their families during this critical time.
This visit to Afghanistan marks the second time Work has traveled to the country in an official capacity, first as undersecretary of the Navy, and now as the deputy secretary of defense.