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New JCS chairman visits Bagram

by Staff Sgt. Mike Andriacco
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

10/12/2007 - BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (AFPN) -- The military's top servicemember visited here Oct. 7 to check on operations in Afghanistan and hear the concerns of military members.

Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanked servicemembers for their sacrifices during an All-Hands Call for E-6s and below.

The admiral spoke about leadership, military pay and benefits, and progress in Afghanistan.

"I want to express my gratitude for what you are doing," Admiral Mullen said. "Your service to our country and to a cause greater than yourself is a big deal."

He also addressed concerns about operations tempo and recognized the challenges servicemembers face in today's deployed environment.

"I'm worried a great deal about the stress on the ground forces, the pace of operations, the length of deployments, and the impact it has on members and their families," he said. "We've got to make sure we move forward in a way where we relieve some of that stress."

He highlighted his desire to ensure today's military is fully equipped and prepared for a mission that will extend far into the future. After the meeting, Admiral Mullen met with senior enlisted advisors and had dinner with military commanders here to get more input from the field.

"I'm grateful for what you are doing; your service, the support of your families to do it, and I really think you are making a huge difference in a vital part of the world," he said.

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