Military begins packing up in Afghanistan

US troops expected to be out of area by 2014

SAN DIEGO - After 10 years of war, U.S. forces in Afghanistan are beginning to pack up equipment used during the conflict.

"They pack up everything of value," said retired Marine Maj. Gen. Bob Butcher.

Butcher should know, as he had a similar task in Vietnam.

"In Danang, there was a deep water port, so we could bring all the heavy equipment like tanks, trucks and more, and pack the ships to the gunwales. They can't do that in Afghanistan because they will have to drive all their gear out of the country to a port or fly it out," Butcher said.

Now at the Flying Leatherneck Museum on Miramar Road, much of what is in the museum -- planes, artillery, trucks and more -- Butcher saw as the embarkation officer shipping gear home from the war zone.

When the war in Iraq ended, there were upwards of five million pieces of equipment that had to be loaded on to trucks and driven to Kuwait to be loaded onto ships.

"Some of the units that are leaving now are taking stuff out they would have normally left behind, but they are taking it out because they know the end is coming," Butcher said.

President Barack Obama said there is a possibility that no troops will be left by December 2014.

Obama will meet with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai at the end of the week to discuss troop and equipment levels.

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