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JCS Chairman Visits, Praises Troops

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

SOMEWHERE IN SOUTH ASIA, Dec. 22, 2001 – DoD's senior military officer visited an undisclosed military post that seemingly sprouted out of nowhere to become the hub of many U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters.

Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanked the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who serve at this installation in various roles in support of operations in Afghanistan. The country the post is located in, some of its missions and troop strength, are undisclosed because of security reasons, as are full names of those assigned here.

Myers lunched with the troops at the installation's dining facility, saying he was "pleased to be with you, right before the holidays. . You guys and ladies are doing a great job and I just want to say, I appreciate it."

Mary Jo Myers, accompanying her husband on the trip, also brought something to cheer service members supporting Operation Enduring Freedom cookies, about 12,000, baked by volunteer groups back in the Washington, D.C., area.

"I think the main thing is, that you feel the fact that everybody just wanted to do something" special for the troops, Mrs. Myers noted, adding that among the cookies were thank-you notes from members of Congress.

Food service specialist Airman 1st Class Knekeshia served the general some hot food during lunch. She said she's proud to serve at the post to "help my country to get this war over with."

Military services provided by the installation's personnel include combat search and rescue, explosive ordnance disposal, air traffic control, Predator unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle surveillance, medical, air cargo delivery and force protection.

"The mission of this place is just overall support for [Operation] Enduring Freedom," said Air Force Col. Ron. A lot of Enduring Freedom missions from all services "are going through here," he noted. The installation "has become sort of a logistics hub for a lot of those missions."

This outpost was one place Myers chose to visit as part of his trip overseas. He spent three days at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium attending the NATO ministerial. After visiting the "mystery" post, the general's visit was to include Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea.

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