New York adjutant general visits
CAMP PHOENIX, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - Major General Joseph J. Taluto, adjutant general of New York, came to Afghanistan for two days in the last week of May to visit members of his New York National Guard.
He was accompanied by New York State Command Sgt. Major Robert Van Pelt to see members of the New York National Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team serving in Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix VII.
Gen. Taluto said, "People have been bragging to me since the brigade has gotten over here about how well things have gone. And, now I have eyes-on and can see it for myself."
Despite the tight schedule, Gen. Taluto enjoyed reuniting with soldiers that he has served with over the years and especially when he was the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division, New York National Guard that deployed to Iraq in 2005.
"We are all proud back in New York with what the 27th is doing and with the men and women of this brigade," he added. "But the fact is, the men and women here are the ones who are doing it and deserve the credit."
"It is a tremendous honor for the 27th to host our state commander while we are serving here in the combat theater," said Colonel Brian K. Balfe, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix and the 27th BCT. "The visit sends a great message to the task force that we are on their screen and our leadership at home really cares."
The brief visit was accomplished inside a tightly controlled itinerary that brought the visitors from Bagram Air Field, to Camp Phoenix and to the Kabul military training center before they had to leave from Kabul International Airport on May 30th.
-- Lt. Col. Paul Fanning