BAGHDAD, IRAQ – Lower Pottsgrove’s congressman, Rep. Charlie Dent (PA 15th Dist.), spent his weekend in war-torn Iraq.
Dent was part of a four-member Congressional delegation that returned Monday (June 8, 2009) from a visit and meetings with deployed Pennsylvania troops in Baghdad and Taji, Iraq, his staff reported. Joining Dent on the bi-partisan trip were Rep. Tim Holden, 17th Dist.; Rep. Bill Shuster, 9th Dist.; and Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, 3rd Dist.
The group met with the Pennsylvania National Guard 56th Stryker Brigade and other Pennsylvania troops. Activated last October, the new brigade combat team is one of six elite rapid-mobilization units in the Army, and the only one in the reserve. Brigade troops deployed to Iraq late last year.
The delegation also met with U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Ford and Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander of the Multinational Force in Iraq. The representatives also were briefed by U.S. Embassy personnel, and by staff members of the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture, on the country’s agriculture and transportation issues. Holden and Dahlkemper are members of the House Committee on Agriculture; Dent, Shuster, and Holden, of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
This was Dent’s third trip to Iraq since 2005. “Pennsylvania’s fighting men and women have made great sacrifices in Iraq, and it was a great honor to spend time with them and thank them for their tremendous efforts,” he said.