During a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to Central Asia, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) met with local military service members at the Transit Center at Manas International Airport in the Kyrgyz Republic. Manas International Airport is a key hub for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Virtually all U.S. and coalition troops transiting Afghanistan -- up to 45,000 a month - pass through the Transit Center, and U.S. military aircraft stationed at the facility provide air refueling capacity for Afghanistan.
The purpose of the delegation was to conduct congressional oversight of US relations with the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan.
Following the delegation trip, Congressman Meeks stated:
"It fills me with great pride to meet men and women in uniform that are far away from home, performing critical duties on behalf of our nation. We often forget what it means to be far away from families and loved ones for long periods of time and in dangerous environments, so it was truly awe inspiring for me to meet them. I got to spend Independence Day with these service members and heard about their daily work at the base. I was honored to call their families when I returned home. I wanted the parents and spouses of these soldiers to hear directly from me that we are proud of our service members and recognize the sacrifice that we know the entire family makes for our country."
Congressman Meeks added:
"For Afghanistan to succeed, it will need the help of all of its neighbors. I would like to express my gratitude to the Kyrgyz Republic government for their strong partnership and support for the international coalition's efforts to bring stability and security to Afghanistan, and for being good hosts to our men and women in uniform"