|Vice President Joe Biden awards a Bronze Star to Staff Sgt. Workman at Forward Operating Base Airborne in Wardak Province, Afghanistan.|
He traveled also to the Wardak Province for a meeting with local Afghan officials, service members, civilian personnel, Afghan community leaders and US personnel to discuss counter-insurgency operations in the region.
The Vice President was briefed on efforts made by U.S. and Afghan forces to clear and hold surrounding areas that will eventually be transferred to Afghan security control.
The United States ended its combat mission in Iraq on August 31, 2010, having drawn down to fewer than 50,000 troops from approximately 144,000 in January 2009. The remaining troops are advising and assisting Iraq’s security forces, conducting partnered counter-terrorism operations, and protecting U.S. civilians.
The visit will mark the Vice President's seventh visit to Iraq.
Biden is also traveling to Baghdad today where is expected to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqiyya leader Ayad Allawi, President Jalal Talabani, Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, and other political leaders.
While there he remarked, "Well, Mr. President, we have one overwhelming desire. The single best thing that can happen to the United States, literally, is for you to be a free, prosperous democracy in the middle of this part of the world. It's the single most significant strategic thing that can happen to the United States in this region."