CANTON - News of the presidents plans for future operations in Afghanistan was met positively by north country congressional lawmakers.
I am pleased that the President is moving forward with the recommendations of our military leaders, U.S. Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, said in a statement. This is welcome news for many New York soldiers and their families to whom our nation owes a great debt for the enormous sacrifices they have made during our engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand said her office was reviewing the details of the presidents proposal, but added that the senator has been a longtime and vocal advocate for bringing all our combat troops home.
Emails and calls to the office of Sen. Charles E. Schumer seeking comment were not returned Tuesday afternoon.
There are about 3,000 Fort Drum soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, between the 10th Mountain Divisions headquarters to its 3rd Brigade Combat Team and the 10th Sustainment Brigade.
Among their work has been advising Afghan police and military forces, who took the lead in securing the countrys recent elections. The last of the division soldiers are scheduled to return around the end of the year.
The divisions soldiers, among the first to deploy to the country, have seen several deployments over the past decade. Division leaders have expressed enthusiasm on multiple occasions about being able to help close major operations in the country at the end of this year.
Soldiers from post were in attendance for an appearance by the president at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on Sunday, during which he foreshadowed Mondays announcement.
After all the sacrifices weve made, we want to preserve the gains you have helped to win, President Obama told the assembled soldiers.