Special Forces were the first to deploy in Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago. They will be the last troops to leave the country, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said during a visit in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Just before Christmas, Miller made a surprise trip to Camp Morehead outside of Kabul where Special Forces train allied Afghan Special Forces. 

“I went there on purpose because I’m going to get the real deal from these guys. And their smart-ass comments and their insights led me to the conclusion we’re in a good place,” Miller said to Stars and Stripes. 

Miller was among the first Special Forces troops with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) on the ground in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. Therefore, the troops still on the ground know that their acting Secretary of Defense has built-in operational experience in the same realm that they are working in.