Myers Meets with Kuwaiti Leaders, Thanks Them for Support
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, April 14, 2004 The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived here today for talks with Kuwaiti leaders.
Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers , who traveled here from Bahrain, is meeting with Prime Minister Sheihk Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah, Defense Minister Jabir Mubarak Hamad al-Sabah and his counterpart, Air Force Lt. Gen. Fahad Ahmad al-Amir, the chief of staff for the Kuwaiti military. It is the first time since the United States named Kuwait a "major non-NATO ally" that discussions at this level have been held.
Myers thanked the Kuwaitis for their steadfast support in the global war on terrorism and in Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. troops staging in and out of Iraq use Kuwait as a base. The U.S. military uses Kuwait's seaports to ship vehicles and supplies. Kuwait's airports receive U.S. personnel. The troops and vehicles marry up in Kuwait and personnel go through final training in the emirate's Udari training area on the border with Iraq.
Troops moving out of Iraq use the emirate to clean and ready vehicles for shipment back to the their home stations. They then fly out of the airport for the reunion with family and friends.
Members of the Coalition Force Land Component Command are managing this movement. A spokesman for the command, Army Lt. Col. Vic Harris, called the rotation of forces the "largest American troop movement since World War II." Some 60,000 American service members are in Kuwait. Many are troops rotating in and out of Iraq, but others are involved in providing logistics support for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.
"Thousands of trucks run daily into and out of Iraq," Harris said. "They carry everything from fuel, to food, to all manner of logistics. It's a huge undertaking."
Officials said that even with Army Gen. John Abizaid's request for more troops in Iraq, some will continue to rotate. And Kuwait is the hub for the military's rest and recreation program.
Myers said he spoke on behalf of all service members in expressing his sincere appreciation for all Kuwait has done and continues to do to support U.S. efforts in the region. "The United States is committed to maintaining a strategic partnership with Kuwait so we can share in the security of Kuwait and the stability of the Middle East," the chairman said.