News: Arizona, Missouri governors visit deployed troops in southern Afghanistan
Story by Sgt. Uriah Walker
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Missouri Gov. Jeremiah W. Nixon and Arizona Gov. Janice K. Brewer spent time with National Guardsmen and active duty soldiers from their home states during a visit to Southern Afghanistan on Dec. 5.
Govs. Brewer and Nixon were welcomed to Kandahar Airfield by Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, Regional Command South and Third Infantry Division commanding general, before flying out meet with their respective National Guard units at two outlying forward operating bases.
Today’s visit offered some unique opportunities for the governors. Not only were they able to visit with deployed members of their respective state’s National Guard, but also with active duty troops from other units who call Arizona or Missouri home.
During a stop at FOB Frontenac, while Gov. Nixon met with soldiers from the 1138th Engineer Sapper Company from the Farmington and Fredericktown areas of Moissouri, Gov. Brewer was able to talk with several service members from her home state of Arizona
Sgt. 1st Class Jason Packard, assigned to 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment and attached to Task Force Steel at FOB Frontenac, enjoyed a sit-down lunch with Gov. Brewer.
During the lunch, Gov. Brewer expressed her deep appreciation for all of the hard work and sacrifice put forth by the soldiers from her home state.
“Sitting down to eat lunch with what we consider our heroes, truly our heroes, is just unbelievable to me. It’s a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to show our gratitude, tell them that we love them, and how much we appreciate them,” said Gov. Brewer.
Following the stop at FOB Frontenac, both governors then traveled to Multinational Base Tarin Kowt where Ariz. National Guard soldiers from Company A, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment welcomed Gov. Brewer.
While at MNB Tarin Kowt, both Govs. Brewer and Nixon were given a brief highlighting the accomplishments of their soldiers. Following the brief, each governor was given a hands-on tour of an AH-64 Apache where they were offered the opportunity to climb into the cockpit of the aircraft.
After climbing down from the cockpit, Gov. Nixon shared his understanding of what soldiers from his home state of Missouri are doing here in Afghanistan.
“I’ve had an opportunity over the last five years not only to be here but to see these citizen soldiers in duty back home. Seeing the seamless way that they’re adding to the force strength here to win this war and to keep our country safe is inspiring to all the people of Missouri, not just me.”