Pensacola, Florida (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the U.S. military is on track to complete its roughly seven-year combat mission in Iraq - part of a redeployment of forces in response to changing needs at home and abroad.
He also praised members of the armed services for their role in fighting the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and promised an "unprecedented response" to what has now become a top-tier political crisis.
The president made his remarks during an appearance at the Naval Air Station here, at the conclusion of a two-day visit to the reeling Gulf region.
The armed forces are poised to end their "combat mission in Iraq this summer - on schedule," Obama declared. "You've earned your place among the greatest of generations."