Newly-appointed United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan late Friday in his maiden foreign visit, said Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for the US military, DPA reported.
The decorated Vietnam War veteran addressed US and NATO-led troops in Kabul, telling them that despite Afghan forces' stepping up to lead combat operations the war for them would still be ongoing.
"Even as we move into more of a support role, this remains a dangerous and difficult mission," Hagel told the troops, according to a statement by the NATO-led coalition.
"We are still at war, and many of you will continue to experience the ugly reality of combat and the heat of battle."
Hagel was sworn in as the head of Defence Department one and half weeks ago after a grueling debate in the US Senate.