Governor Nixon has spent the last couple of days meeting with Missouri troops in Kuwait and Afghanistan. It might not be his last trip to the war zone.
Nixon is one of a number of officials on the trip, which was kept under wraps for security reasons. Missouri reporters were told to sit on the story for 18 hours so Nixon and others could get out of the area safely.
He says he met in Kuwait with National Guard units from Springfield and Sedalia and in Afghanistan with a unit from Farmington that removes mines and roadside bombs from roads that troops use.
President Obama has pledged to remove combat forces from Afghanistan in 2014. About ten to 15-thousand soldiers might remain long-term for training and logistical support of Afghan security forces–and to fight terrorism. Nixon says that means the Missouri National Guard’s role is not likely to end soon.
He says his visits helphim understand the Guard missions in the future. He says that knowledge will help the state fund proper training for future missions. This has been Nixon’s third trip to the war zone in Afghanistan. He says it’s important for him to visit the National Guard members in the area.