Job Well Done,’ Obama Tells Troops

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2011 — The skill and courage of count­less Amer­i­can mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence pro­fes­sion­als are why Osama bin Laden can nev­er threat­en Amer­i­ca again, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma told a cheer­ing group of 101st Air­borne sol­diers today at Fort Camp­bell, Ky.

Oba­ma told them about meet­ing yes­ter­day with sur­vivors of 9/11 vic­tims in New York and lay­ing a wreath at ground zero where the World Trade Cen­ter tow­ers once stood. “I met with the first respon­ders … who lost so many of their own when they rushed into those burn­ing tow­ers. I promise our nation we will nev­er for­get those we lost that dark Sep­tem­ber day.”

Ear­li­er today, Oba­ma and Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden met with the 160th Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Avi­a­tion Reg­i­ment and the 5th Spe­cial Forces Group at Fort Camp­bell to thank them for their ser­vice.

They lat­er met with the full assault force that car­ried out the oper­a­tion and award­ed them a Pres­i­den­tial Unit Cita­tion, the high­est hon­or that can be giv­en to a unit in recog­ni­tion of extra­or­di­nary ser­vice and achieve­ment.

“It was a chance for me to say on behalf of all Amer­i­cans and peo­ple around the world, ‘Job well done,’ ” Oba­ma told the troops gath­ered inside an air­craft hangar.

Call­ing the spe­cial oper­a­tions teams “the qui­et pro­fes­sion­als,” Oba­ma said they, like the rest of today’s mil­i­tary mem­bers, chose to serve in a time of war.

“They trained for years,” he said. “They’re bat­tle-hard­ened. They prac­ticed tire­less­ly for this mis­sion.

“When I gave the order, they were ready,” he said. “In recent days, the whole world has learned just how ready they were.”

These Amer­i­cans deserve cred­it for one of the great­est intel­li­gence and mil­i­tary oper­a­tions in the nation’s his­to­ry, Oba­ma said, adding “[And] so does every per­son who wears America’s uni­form, the finest mil­i­tary the world has ever known.”

“Because of your ser­vice, because of your sac­ri­fices, we’re mak­ing progress in Afghanistan,” the pres­i­dent said.

“We’re mak­ing progress in our major goal … [of] dis­rupt­ing and dis­man­tling — and we are going to ulti­mate­ly defeat — al-Qai­da. “We have cut off their head and we will ulti­mate­ly defeat them.”

U.S. strat­e­gy is work­ing, and there is no greater evi­dence of that, Oba­ma said, “than jus­tice final­ly being deliv­ered to Osama bin Laden.”

The fight against extrem­ists is not over, but in its new phase, U.S. troops are trans­fer­ring pow­er to the Afghans, and will begin to return home this sum­mer.

“We’ll build the long-term part­ner­ship with the Afghan peo­ple so that al-Qai­da can nev­er again threat­en Amer­i­ca from that coun­try,” Oba­ma said.

“As your com­man­der in chief, I am con­fi­dent that we’re going to suc­ceed in this mis­sion … because, in you, I see the strength of America’s mil­i­tary, and because in recent days we’ve all seen the resilience of the Amer­i­can spir­it,” he said.

“There’s noth­ing we can’t do togeth­er, 101st, when we remem­ber who we are — and that is the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. When we remem­ber that no prob­lem is too hard and no chal­lenge is too great,” the pres­i­dent said.

“That is why,” he added, “I’m so con­fi­dent that, with your brave ser­vice, America’s great­est days are still to come.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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