OCEANSIDE (CBSLA.com) — President Barack Obama wrapped up a two-day visit to Southern California on Wednesday.READ MORE: License Plate Recognition Cameras To Be Installed Around Melrose District
The president, who arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon for an appearance on Jay Leno, participated in a Zillow virtual real estate roundtable around 10 a.m.
Obama then flew by helicopter to Camp Pendleton Marine base in northern San Diego County where he met with nearly 3,000 Marines and their families.
He told the crowd that he was visiting because for the past 12 years, the United States military has been at war against al Qaeda, and the fight in Afghanistan has become America’s longest war.
In June, Afghan forces, according to the president, took control of security in their own country.
“What that signals is our war in Afghanistan has entered its final chapter. More of our troops are coming home. We’ll be down to 34,000 this winter. By the end of next year, in just 17 months, the transition will be complete, Afghans will take full responsibility of their security and our war in Afghanistan will be over,” said Obama.READ MORE: Exclusive: Armed Robbers Hit Palisades Home During Holiday Party
Nearly 3,000 Camp Pendleton Marines are currently serving in Afghanistan and more will be deployed in the coming months.
Obama saluted the men and women for their contributions during conflicts in the Middle East. He singled out the 326 Camp Pendleton Marines who died in Afghanistan.
A number of Marines liked what the president said about continued support for the military once the war ends and budgets get tighter.
“It’s hard to do our mission without the money that we need,” said Lance Cpl. Catherine Salvador. “It’s good if we have the support of the president and the support of Congress.”
Following the visit, the president returned to Los Angeles via helicopter where he departed from LAX at 2:20 p.m. for Washington, D.C.
This two-day trip marked Obama’s 15th visit to Los Angeles since taking office in 2008, 10 of which were for fundraising purposes.
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