The highest-ranking US military servicemember (aside from the President) came to visit us today.
Admiral Mullen flew in by helicopter, with several journalists in tow. The Admiral went to a private one-on-one meeting with the commander of Task Force La Fayette, French General Druart, while I worked with my French Public Affairs counterparts to help host the journalists and give them some info about our team during their short stay.
They were mostly concerned about President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy, and how it affected us. They also wanted to know more about how we fight … (I think I disappointed them when I reminded them that we are not a fighting unit by definition. We defend ourselves, but our job is not to go find and destroy bad guys.)
After entertaining some questions, we escorted the journalists to a formation of French and US soldiers who were waiting for the Admiral to finish his meeting and then speak with them.
Mullen addressed the crowd, expressing his support for the President’s plan, and his thanks for the French support to US troops subordinate to them (like our team.) Afterward, he gave special commemorative coins to every one as he shook their hands.
I was busy taking photographs of the Admiral, so as he was giving out the coins, I wasn’t able to receive one. That’s okay … Something tells me I’ll have plenty more opportunities to interact with senior leaders in Afghanistan in the future.