Brig. Gen. Richard D. Clark spoke about the war in Afghanistan during a ceremony at Whiteface Mountain last week. He says soldiers and their families have weathered difficult circumstances since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but those sacrifices have made a difference.
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Brig. Gen. Richard Clark is deputy commanding general for operations of the 10th Mountain Division, which includes more than 20,000 troops. Many of those troops are stationed at Fort Drum near Watertown.
Clark says the division has played a major role in Afghanistan.
“The mission in Iraq has ended responsibly, and truthfully there is progress being made in Afghanistan as we are enabling a transition to the Afghan security forces,” Clark said. “Our targeted counter-terrorism efforts have significantly weakened al Qaeda and degraded its leadership.”
More than 1,000 10th Mountain Division soldiers are currently deployed to Afghanistan. Clark says those troops will return to the North Country in the fall.
“You have to remember: This division was the first United States Army division that was deployed into Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism, and today still remains the most deployed division in the United States Army, with soldiers deployed right now,” Clark said.
The division will send more troops to Afghanistan after Christmas. Clark says another deployment is scheduled for next spring.
“But what I can attest is that these men and women want to continue to go,” he said. “They want to serve our nation’s call. We, as a division, like the ones that went before us, offer a light infantry capability that is rapidly deployable, highly trained, and that stands ready to defeat our enemies in the most austere environments and carry the torch of the 10th Mountain Division legacy into the future.”
Clark made his remarks at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington. Every year, the mountain is re-dedicated to past and present members of the 10th Mountain Division.