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American Forces Press Service

Vice Chairman Nominee Giambastiani Visits Troops in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 9, 2005 President Bush's nominee to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived in Afghanistan May 8 to visit with troops and tour U.S. and coalition compounds.

Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. said he was impressed with the improvements in the country. "There's been tremendous progress here. Every time I come back to Afghanistan, the place is much improved and continues to make super progress," he said.

The admiral has been nominated to succeed Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace as vice chairman. Pace has been nominated to succeed Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers as Joint Chiefs chairman. Both nominations are subject to Senate approval.

Giambastiani contrasted his first visit to Afghanistan with his most recent, exactly three years later, both of which involved Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"The last time I was here was on Dec. 7, 2004, for President Karzai's inauguration," he said. "The first time I came here was on Dec. 7, 2001, when I met with a guy named Hamid Karzai in a bombed-out hangar in Bagram."

Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan, started Giambastiani's visit with an overview of the command in his headquarters at Camp Eggers. After a short ride to Camp Phoenix on the outskirts of Kabul, Giambastiani met with Air Force Maj. Gen. John Brennan, chief of the Office of Military Cooperation Afghanistan. Brennan talked about the role of OMC-A in the reconstruction of Afghanistan's defense and security sectors.

Next, Giambastiani received an update from Army Brig. Gen. Richard Moorhead, commander of Coalition Joint Task Force Phoenix. The task force is responsible for the training of the Afghan National Army.

Giambastiani toured the Kabul Military Training Center and observed ANA soldiers in basic training. The tour then proceeded to the ANA compound at Pol-e Charkhi and the adjacent U.S. compound at Camp Blackhorse.

The admiral ate dinner with the troops at the Camp Blackhorse dining facility and presented commemorative coins to a few individuals before heading for the next stop on his visit, the International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul.

Giambastiani currently serves as the commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and is NATO's supreme allied commander for transformation.

(Courtesy of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan.)



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