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National Guard chief visits troops in Afghanistan

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:30 am

KABUL, Afghanistan — For his first overseas trip since becoming the 27th chief of the National Guard Bureau in September, Gen. Frank J. Grass traveled to Kabul on Jan. 15 to visit mobilized Guard soldiers from Texas, Georgia, New Jersey and Alabama.

“I came for two reasons: first, to see National Guard soldiers at work in Afghanistan — to see the great units here and better understand their needs — so I can represent them better at the Pentagon; second, to talk to senior leaders and ask, ‘What can the National Guard do for you in the future?’” Grass said.

During an impromptu town hall meeting with soldiers and airmen stationed at Camp Phoenix, Grass talked to troops about the future role of the National Guard and how state Guard partnerships with international forces will become more important in the future.

He also asked the group if their Guard service over the past 10 years has lived up to what they expected.

Sgt. Calvin Byrd from the 179th Military Police Company, Georgia Army National Guard said, “Roger that, sir!”

Task Force Centurion soldiers hosted the one-day visit, which also included an aerial tour of the Kabul Base Cluster. The camps provide a safe place to live and work for nearly 9,000 coalition service members stationed in Kabul and includes Camp Phoenix and seven other locations managed by soldiers from the 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Texas Army National Guard.

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