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U.S. on pace with Afghan drawdown

  |   Sept. 12, 2013 at 11:15 AM
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TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Though difficult logistically, the U.S. military is on pace to get its personnel and equipment out of Afghanistan by the end of next year, an official said.

U.S. military forces are working alongside their NATO counterparts to transition efforts in Afghanistan from a combat to an advisory role by the end of next year.

U.S. Maj. Gen. Aundre Piggee, director of logistics for U.S. Central Command, told Military.com the drawdown was on pace.

"We are on a glide path based on the plan of where we need to be, working to ensure that we have all of the equipment out and align it with the personnel reductions," he said in an interview published Wednesday.

The U.S.-led operation in Afghanistan began in 2001 as a response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Piggee said at least 1.4 million pieces of equipment are still in Afghanistan. He said the drawdown was complicated by logistics of getting military equipment out of the land-locked country.

"Afghanistan is not Iraq," he said. "We do not have a Kuwait where we can roll everything in, stage it and then determine what to do."

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