NAIROBI, Kenya — This week, Governor Eric Holcomb spent time with 130 Hoosiers in the Indiana National Guard stationed at Camp Simba in Kenya.
The company Holcomb visited is from Seymour, Indiana, and has been deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom since May.
”We are being represented by the very, very best,” Gov. Holcomb said.
The Adjutant General of Indiana, Major General R. Dale Lyles, said the governor’s visit gave a boost to company morale as they head into the last quarter of their mission.
”This particular mission is a force protection mission, providing the security for a base camp and an airstrip just south of Somalia,” Maj. Gen. Lyles said.
According to the senior-most military official in Indiana, the mission is proving crucial to national security efforts due to the rise of violent extremist organizations that have popped up in the region during the Global War on Terrorism.
”These men and women that are at Camp Simba are working each and every day with the Kenya Defense Forces to rid this country of the violent extremist organizations that are training here,” Maj. Gen. Lyles said.
Gov. Holcomb also addressed issues closer to home, such as Ohio’s decision to legalize marijuana. According to the governor, the push from several states to legalize cannabis before the federal government does could end up being counterproductive.
”I’m a law-and-order kinda guy, and so as long as recreational marijuana is illegal from a federal perspective, it’s illegal in my eyes from a state perspective as well,” Gov. Holcomb said.
Another top concern is the lack of a new farm bill. Gov. Holcomb said long-term planning from all levels of government is needed to protect the bottom line and mental health of farmers.
”Whatever our government, federal, state, local, whatever we can do to provide more certainty to the process is going to be helpful not just to the yield, but to their psyche,” Gov. Holcomb said.
Gov. Holcomb also said the American Embassy in Nairobi briefed him Thursday on Kenya’s place in the world. He said there is much potential in Kenya for what Hoosier farmers are producing, and that the state will continue to explore connections in Nairobi.