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National Guard Chief visits troops in Afghanistan

Story By Capt. Marvin J. Baker
136th MEB Public Affairs Officer 

KABUL, Afghanistan (Jan. 19, 2013) — For his first overseas trip since becoming the 27th chief of the National Guard Bureau last September, General Frank J. Grass came here Jan. 15 to visit mobilized National Guard Soldiers from Texas, Georgia, New Jersey and Alabama. 

“I came for two reasons,” said Grass. “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?’” 

During an impromptu town hall meeting with Soldiers and Airmen stationed on 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 everything they expected. Sgt. Calvin Byrd from the 179th Military Police Company, Georgia Army National Guard simply replied, “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.

Army General Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visits with Army National Guard troops in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 15. During his first overseas trip since assuming his post last September, Grass met with International Security Assistance Force leaders and Soldiers to discuss the future of the National Guard. (Photo by Capt. Marvin J. Baker, 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Public Affairs)

Army General Frank J. Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visits with Army National Guard troops in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 15. During his first overseas trip since assuming his post last September, Grass met with International Security Assistance Force leaders and Soldiers to discuss the future of the National Guard. (Photo by Capt. Marvin J. Baker, 136th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Public Affairs)

 
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