Mullen visits Fort Hood troops in Iraq
August 3, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq - The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, visited Soldiers assigned to 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, at Contingency Operating Base Marez, Iraq, Aug. 1.
Mullen met with service members to show his gratitude for their hard work and sacrifice in support of the brigade’s advise, train and assist mission in U.S. Division " North.
“I want to express my appreciation for what you have done here,” said Mullen. “There is not a day that goes by that I’m not thinking about what you do out here.”
During his speech, the chairman also commented on the improvements he’s seen in the Mosul area since assuming responsibility as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2007.
Mullen said, throughout his tenure as chairman, there has been a significant change in the security conditions and partnership efforts between the U.S. and Iraqi Security Forces in Mosul.
“It is because of your efforts that these extraordinary improvements and changes have occurred,” he added.
In addition to thanking the troops for their dedication to the mission, Mullen conducted a group discussion addressing the deployed troops’ questions and concerns. After the question and answer session, the chairman handed out coins of excellence to the service members.
“It means a lot having the highest-ranking officer in the (U.S. Armed Forces) come visit us and congratulate us on a job well done,” said Cpl. Kelvin Scott, an armor crew member assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th AAB.
After shaking hands with the chairman, Scott and other 4th AAB Soldiers met with USO entertainers accompanying Mullen, American illusionist David Blaine and retired professional basketball player Karl Malone.
“This was really a morale booster,” said Scott, a native of Macon, Ga. “I’m very grateful to be able to meet these guys and experience this entire event.”
Since arriving to northern Iraq last fall, the Fort Hood Soldiers assumed responsibility of overseeing security operations and partnering with ISF near Mosul in support of Operation New Dawn.
“These Soldiers have Families back home and they put their lives on the line everyday protecting our nation’s freedoms,” said Malone. “Visiting the troops is the least I can do in an effort to give back to them. We’re allowed to live the way we live, because of the sacrifices these Soldiers make over here.”