Sunday, August 16, 2009

Petraeus visits Kyrgyzstan-based troops

by Staff Sgt. Olufemi Owolabi
376th Air Expeditionary Wing

MANAS, Kyrgyzstan — Making a brief stop here, the U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. David Petraeus visited men and women at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, Aug. 16.

During his visit, Petraeus briefed service members and coalition forces deployed to the Transit Center as well as talked about the roles they play, serving as the gateway for personnel transiting in and out of Afghanistan.

"What you're doing here has directly enabled all that is going on in Afghanistan," Petraeus said.

During the briefing at Pete's Place, Petraeus answered questions from Airmen and asked leadership for thoughts on improving the Center.

The general had high praise for Manas members.

"You are America," Petraeus said. "Your actions and what you've done recently in particular, such as helping the citizens of this country, the Birdik School and other local schools, are fostering a great positive relationship between the United States and Kyrgyzstan. You actions are very impressive."

He personally thanked Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines here for their hardwork and service, and reminded them to extend his thanks to their families too for the sacrifices they make every day.

After the briefing, Petraeus took time to visit the Personnel Support for Contingency Operations tent where he met with and coined Soldiers transiting on their way to Afghanistan. He also took time to visit the transient living area, where he shook hands and talked with service members transiting through, either on their way home or going to Afghanistan.

The general's visit here culminated at the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Headquarters Building, where he was greeted by, Col. Adam Dabrowski, 376th AEW vice commander. Before his departure, Petraeus spent some time with the Director of the Transit Center, Col. Blaine Holt, who is also the commander of the 376th AEW.

Source: CENTCOM.

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