The war in Iraq and Afghanistan continues to be a complex and challenging situation; however, our men and women in uniform have been steadfast in their commitment and we must continue to give them our unequivocal support. I have traveled to Iraq seven times and have seen firsthand the remarkable military progress that has taken place. Additionally, I have traveled to Afghanistan three times and I understand the challenges that lie ahead. With thirteen military installations in our state, Georgia has a strong military presence that has contributed mightily to our efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and I am fully committed to supporting their needs as well as the needs of their families. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I have been involved in the crafting of six defense authorization bills which provide critical funding for our military communities, equipment, and our troops' quality of life.
I am extremely proud that in early 2008, the President signed into law my legislation to reduce the age at which retirement pay can be received by members of the National Guard and Reserve. Our citizen soldiers are called upon more and more in our new security environment, and it is only fair that we compensate them accordingly. Additionally, I recently introduced legislation to amend that law to make it retroactive to September 11, 2001. Currently, National Guard and Reserve members are the only federal retirees who must wait until age 60 to collect retirement pay.
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we have significantly changed the way we confront the threats to our nation, and we must continue to remain vigilant. We not only face the threat of terrorists overseas but homegrown terrorists have become a critical concern.