News: Show me what you got; Secretary of the Army tours Arifjan compound
Spc. Michael R. Noggle
CFLCC PAO/11th PAD
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait- The Secretary of the Army Dr. Francis J. Harvey visited with Soldiers and toured operation points at Camp Arifjan Nov. 22.
During his stay, Harvey was escorted by Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb, Third U.S. Army/Army Central Command/Coalition Forces Land Component Command commander.
Harvey mingled with troops in a dinner before the Thanksgiving holiday, letting them know of the progress being made in Iraq and the support they are receiving.
"Be proud of what you do," he said. "The American people know what you have to do, you know what you have to do and that is staying the course. Our young men and women are answering their call to duty."
He later added, "Because of you and your fellow Soldiers, 50 million formerly oppressed people are now free and are no longer subjected to immoral and ruthless governments."
In a question-and-answer session with Harvey, some of the Soldiers were curious of the progress being made in Iraq and the Army's transformation.
"Here in Iraq, there is no question that progress has been and is being made " politically, economically and militarily," Harvey said.
The secretary of the Army stated that since his last visit in March the status of Iraqi military forces have quickly developed. The troop size has doubled and more than a third of the battalions are operating independently.
"As we fight the Global War on Terrorism, we're also building our Army for the future as well," he said. "Brigades are being built for the National Guard and active components."
"Stay the course," he said. "We're here and we're going to get the job done."
After meeting with the Soldiers, Harvey toured the Army Material Command's aviation and tactical vehicle repair sites.
The 1106th Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot and Army Field Support Battalion, briefed the Secretary of the Army on their operations throughout the year and supporting the warfighter.
"We couldn't complete this mission without you," Harvey said. "You've played a huge role in the up-armor effort at our depots and arsenals... You are a vital part of our team."
In his remarks to the servicemembers serving overseas, Harvey expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Army and United States and thanked everyone for their service.
"Let there be no doubt, the insurgents will be defeated. They are facing the best-trained, the best-equipped and the best-led Soldiers in the world today," he said.
"Thanks for answering the call to duty and defending the peace and freedom of our country and preserving our democracy. Because of you and your fellow Soldiers, our country is a safer placeâ?¦ Let's stay the course and make the world a much safer place now and for future generations."