Bishop Leads Congressional Delegation To Iraq
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) today departed Iraq following a Congressional Delegation visit and fact-finding mission, taken at the request of the House Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Defense. The trip, which was led by Bishop, allowed Members of Congress to review troop readiness, operations, equipment and logistical support in the Central Command and European Command theaters of operations.
Accompanying Bishop on the trip were Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan, Congressman André Carson of Indiana, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Congressman Devin Nunes of California, and members of the Appropriations Committee’s professional staff. In addition to Iraq, the trip includes stops in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Germany.
“I am honored to have had this opportunity to travel with my fellow Members of Congress and the Defense Appropriations committee to Kuwait, Iraq, UAE, and Germany,” Bishop said. “It is a privilege to meet with our men and women who are overseas, including many from the state of Georgia, and to personally thank them for their service. Additionally, the visit provided the opportunity to make a first-hand assessment of the current situation in Iraq, including insight into the needs and concerns of our military and diplomatic personnel. This knowledge will allow the members of the Defense Subcommittee to ensure that our troops have the resources and tools they need to do their jobs.”
The delegation left Washington, D.C. on Monday and traveled first to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, where they had lunch with troops and received operational overview briefings on classified elements of U.S. policy.
On Wednesday, the delegation traveled to Iraq where they received in-depth operational and intelligence briefing on the U.S. military’s area of responsibility and met with top U.S. military and civilian leadership, including U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill, General Ray Odierno, Commanding General of the Multi-National Force - Iraq, and Lieutenant General Charles H. Jacoby, Commander of the Multi-National Corps - Iraq. The delegation also met with top Iraqi leadership and attended a special discussion with female Iraqi Parliamentarians. Finally, the delegation attended a luncheon with U.S. soldiers and visited an outpost where they received operational updates.
On Thursday the delegation will visit the U.S. Consulate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to discuss in-depth classified matters. While in the UAE, the delegation also plans to visit to the U.S. Navy Detachment in Dubai and tour the Jebel Ali Port Facilities that house the Navy Detachment.
On Friday and Saturday, the trip will conclude with two stops in Germany, first in the city of Stuttgart to meet with General William E. “Kip” Ward, the Commanding General of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and gain insight on future operations within the Africa Command theater of operations. Finally, the delegation will travel to Landstuhl where they will tour Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a U.S. military hospital that serves as the nearest treatment center for wounded servicemembers coming from Iraq and Afghanistan. While in the city of Landstuhl, the delegation will also visit Ramstein Air Force Base (AFB), which serves as headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). There the delegation will receive briefings from the USAFE Commander, as well as General Carter F. Ham, the Commander U.S. Army Forces Europe (USAREUR).
On Sunday, the delegation will depart from Ramstein AFB returning to Washington, D.C.