Obama to meet with troops at MacDill AFB Tuesday

WASHINGTON — President Obama will travel to Tampa next Tuesday to meet with special operations troops and give a speech on counter-terrorism, the White House said.

Obama will urge a continued strategy to confront terrorist threats at home and abroad "while staying true to the values that have always been at America's core," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday.

The speech will present Obama with a final opportunity to defend that strategy as he prepares to hand over the commander-in-chief's job to President-elect Donald Trump, who has often proposed a more aggressive approach.

MacDill is the headquarters of the U.S. Special Operations Command, which is responsible for organizing, training and equipping the 57,000 active and reserve special operations troops across the military. Obama last visited the base in 2014, thanking troops for their work in Iraq and Afghanistan while addressing the new threat from the Islamic State in Syria.

Earnest said the president would again meet with special operations forces Tuesday to "offer his personal gratitude and that of the nation for the professionalism, skill, and sacrifice of those American patriots."


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