Senator Scott Brown issued a statement this morning saying he has requested to conduct his annual National Guard training in Afghanistan.
ďAs a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, I have service obligations that I fulfill each year.
"Following in the tradition of other lawmakers who have completed their military service requirements overseas, this year I have requested to conduct my annual training in Afghanistan.
"Doing so will help me to better understand our ongoing mission in that country, and provide me first-hand experience for my duties on the Senate Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs committees," he said.
Brown has been in the Guard since 1979, but he has never been deployed to a war zone. His service this summer will come around the July set by President Obama for beginning to start removing some of the 132,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan.
Typically such training periods last two weeks. It would not be considered a formal activation of his JAG unit.
About 90 minutes before issuing his statement, Brown said in a telephone interview with the Globe, "Iím going to be going over at some point to do some missions.Ē
Brown was elected to the US Senate in January 2010 to replace the late Edward M. Kennedy. The Republican is up for reelection next year, when he will be seeking his first full six-year term.
Brown joined the Guard in March 1979, after being impressed by its performance in the Greater Boston area in the Blizzard of '78.
Today, the 51-year-old is a member of the judge advocate general's corps, where he works as the military equivalent of a lawyer. He has served as the chief defense attorney in New England.
Brown has never been deployed in a combat zone, despite the more than decade-long campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he was sent to Kazakhstan and Paraguay.
The senator continues to drill monthly in Milford, but he has said it was unlikely he would be deployed because, as a member of Congress, he would be considered a high-value target for opponents.
That, in turn, could create additional risk for the troops serving with him.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.