President Barack Obama says every American who has served in Afghanistan should be proud of what they've accomplished.

Obama is observing the end of combat operations in Afghanistan by visiting U.S. troops at New Jersey's Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The base has been a launching point for deployments to Afghanistan.

Obama says America's war in Afghanistan is coming to a responsible end. He says the U.S. is glad to have its troops coming home.

U.S. and NATO troops closed their operational command in Afghanistan last week after 13 years of war. Some troops will remain, however, to carry out operations against Taliban and al-Qaida targets.

Obama is praising America's military for protecting the nation's safety, freedom and security.

He says, quote, "You guys are like Santa in fatigues."