President Obama honored troops in Afghanistan with a surprise visit to Bagram Airfield on Friday.
Air Force One landed in the war zone under the cover of darkness as the president made his second trip to the region since taking office. The trip was unannounced and plans were tightly guarded.
President Obama told troops that the U.S. will not allow Afghanistan to be a save haven for terrorists.
"You will succeed in your mission," Obama told more than 3,500 troops. "We said we were going to break the Taliban's momentum. That's what you're doing. You're going on the offense, tired of playing defense."
The president said they are continuing to make progress in the region, but that that progress has come at a high price. He thanked the troops and handed out five purple hearts to wounded warriors.
"On behalf of me, on behalf of Michelle, on behalf of Malia and Sasha, and on behalf of more than 300 million Americans, we are here to say thank you," Obama said.
The president's visit comes nearly a year to the day after he announced he was sending an additional 30,000 troops to the region.
He had also planned to visit with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during his trip, but those plans were scrapped at the last minute because of bad weather.
High winds forced the White House to decide it was too dangerous for President Obama to fly to his meeting near Karzai's presidential palace.
Instead, the White House proposed the two leader speak via video conference, but those plans were also later scrapped.