CAMP BUEHRING, KUWAIT — The 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, and his wife Deanie shared a meal and conversation Dec. 14 with members of the Minnesota National Guard’s Brainerd-based 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor (1-194 CAB).
The visit was related to Operation New Dawn, the final phase of the war in Iraq.
The night before Gen. Dempsey flew north to Baghdad to close the final chapter of Operation New Dawn, he made a point to attend a dinner engagement with a group of Army leaders at a Camp Buehring dining facility. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff took this opportunity to ask some unit leaders who directly supported the withdrawal plan for feedback.
The 1-194 (CAB) has had a front row seat in history in their Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles conducting 790 convoy escort security missions, traveling more than 1.2 million combat miles through 11 of Iraq’s 18 provinces.
Dempsey’s conversation included talk about the tenth chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the longest serving active duty member in the United States Army, Minnesota native Gen. John W. Vessey. National Guard officials said the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had many kind words to say about Gen. Vessey and mentioned that he has summoned advice from both Gen. Vessey and Gen. Colin Powell during his first 90-days in office.
The dinner with the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces and principal military adviser to the president will be forever remembered by these Minnesota National Guard Soldiers, National Guard officials said.