by Jim Nintzel
Congressman Ron Barber is on his way back to the states after a quick visit to Afghanistan to meet with troops and military leaders in the region. The press release from Barber's office:
U.S. Rep. Ron Barber today is returning to the United States after a three-day trip to Afghanistan as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
“While in Afghanistan, I had the honor of meeting with and thanking members of our armed services — including a number of them from Arizona,” Barber said today. “I am grateful for their service and the service of all those who serve — as well as their families, who make tremendous sacrifices of their own.
“This trip to Afghanistan provided me with invaluable insight into the challenges of this region,” Barber added. “It is a major responsibility to serve on the Armed Services Committee and what I learned in Afghanistan will be extremely useful going forward as I work to ensure our troops have the tools and resources they need.”
Barber was one of four HASC members who traveled to Dubai and Afghanistan over the weekend.
In Dubai, Barber and his colleagues toured a U.S. Navy ship. Once in Afghanistan, they had a briefing from U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham at the embassy in Kabul.
They also toured a forward operating base and were briefed on plans to withdraw most U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. Barber and his colleagues later traveled to Camp Leatherneck, a 1,600-acre U.S. Marine Corps base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Barber brought the troops some special gifts from Southern Arizona: salsa from two Tucson favorites. El Charro Café and Tucson Tamale Co. donated jars of salsa for Barber to deliver to service members.
Barber will return to Tucson tomorrow.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Barber serves on the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee and the Readiness Subcommittee.