BESMAYA, Iraq - Representative Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), Representative Carol Shea Porter (D-NH) and Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) visited members of the Multi-National Security Transition Command -- Iraq and Iraqi military Mar. 19.
The intent of their visit was to meet with U.S. and Iraqi government leaders. The group of congressional representatives visited Camp Dublin, Iraq where U.S. Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik, Multi-National Security Transition Command -- Iraq commanding general, provided them with a briefing about force generation and replenishment of Iraqi troops and the effect the process will have on their ground forces.
The group of representatives observed and met with Iraqi National Police receiving Carabinieri-like training from Italian Carabinieri representatives.
"I have never fired an AK-47 before," said Ellsworth. "I am excited to shoot this weapon."
Ellsworth and Jackson Lee fired the AK-47, which is the weapon currently in use by the Iraqi National Police.
Next, the group traveled to the Besmaya Range Complex where Iraqi Army Col. Abbas, base commanding officer, provided them with a briefing about the complex. They then viewed the M-16 warehouse where they witnessed the process for the capture of biometric data, the actual weapons warehouse and the close quarters range.
"I am very impressed with the improvement of military capability," said Shea Porter.
Abbas encouraged the group of congressional representatives to speak with Iraqi soldiers to get their perspective of the training received at the Besmaya Range Complex.
"They will tell you, just like I tell you - we could not do it without our American brothers."