War on Terrorism

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lynn Arrives in Baghdad for Talks, Troop Visit

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Oct. 26, 2010 – It's a time of transitions in Iraq, and Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III is visiting that country to make sure all of the transitions are on track.

The deputy secretary met privately with Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, and then received a briefing on the “advise and assist” mission in the country.

Some 50,000 American servicemembers are in Iraq, and almost all are involved in training Iraqi security forces. Iraqi forces have taken control of security in the country. American forces are in an advisory capacity for almost all operations.

U.S. airmen are working with the Iraqis to develop the air force, and U.S. sailors are working in southern Iraq to train a riverine force and a coast guard to protect the oil terminals and seaward approaches to the country.

Iraqi politicians still have not formed a government following elections in March, but U.S. officials here said this has not affected the training mission. In fact, an official said, Iraqi military and police leaders are redoubling their efforts to get the needed training in advance of the December 2011 American withdrawal in accordance with an agreement between the two countries.

Lynn will meet with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey and with an American advise and assist brigade.

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