President Obama’s announcement that 30-thousand more troops will be sent to Afghanistan might have some Missouri National Guard members thinking, “here we go again.’
No, says the National Guard, not for a while at least.
The regular military has relied on the national guard units throughout the country to supplement regular units….and now a new demand is being made for increased troops strength.
But Missouri National Guard spokesman Tammy Spicer says the Obama strategy has no immediate effect on the Missouri Guard.
Fact is, the Missouri Guard has had soldiers in Afghanistan for a long time, especially agriculture development teams. A fourth team is starting training to go over. And Spicer says some nonagricultural units already are there. “We have got soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan doing missions right now,” she says.
A Missouri National Guardsman died in Afghanistan three years ago. She says several of the agriculture development team members that returned last month had earned combat awards. She says soldiers whose job is to reach out to Afghan farmers and leaders still face the same dangers every soldier faces in Afghanistan.
For now, though, the new strategy does not involve an increased Missouri presence.
Priddy interviews Captain Spicer: