NAWA, Afghanistan -- Four U.S. senators visited Forward Operating Base Jaker and the surrounding area in Nawa, Afghanistan, to note progress by the Nawa Government and coalition forces in the region, Nov. 11.
Senators John McCain, a senior senator from Arizona, Lindsey Graham, a senior senator from South Carolina, Kirsten Gillibrand, a junior senator from New York, and Joseph I. Lieberman, a junior senator from Connecticut, visited Marines of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, where they toured Khalaj High School, the Nawa District bazaar and the Nawa District Governance Center as well as meeting with Nawa government officials.
The trip was brief, but the senators were able to speak with Afghan students, farmers, shopkeepers and government officials as well as meeting with Marines and sailors from their home states.
The trip concluded with a lunch hosted by Nawa District Gov. Haji Abdul Manaf at the Governor’s Marine House inside of the governance center.
Haji Abdul Manaf, the Nawa District Governor, spoke to the senators of the partnership between Coalition Forces and the Nawa Government, attributing teamwork to success in the region.
During the lunch Manaf fielded questions from the senators and when McCain asked what has changed in Nawa since the Marines arrived, Manaf spoke of what he sees as the key changes.
“In the past we did not have an education department here and now we do,” Manaf said. “Farmers were planting and growing opium, but now opium crops have been eradicated and we don’t have that problem. Before, we had no Afghan government presence, but now we do.”
And then Manaf hit on something he’s often proud to point out — partnership.
“In the past there was no teamwork here,” he said. “No team relationship between the local security forces and Afghan National Army and National Police, but now with the Marine presence here we can have that teamwork.”