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Thursday, December 6, 2012


U.S. Army soldiers from Charlie Company, 67th Signal Battalion stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., board a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Sather Air Base in Iraq on July 10, 2010. The aircraft is from the 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron out of Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, and deployed from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. Charlie Company is redeploying to their home unit as part of the drawdown to 50,000 troops in Iraq by August 31, 2010. DoD photo by Senior Airman Perry Aston, U.S. Air Force. (Released)


U.S., Iraq Sign Defense Cooperation Memo of Understanding

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2012 - American and Iraqi officials signed a memorandum of understanding today in Baghdad that will make it easier for the two countries to work together.

The memo was one result of the Defense and Security Joint Coordination Committee that met yesterday and today in the Iraqi capital.

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James N. Miller, acting Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dlimi and acting Undersecretary of State for International Security Rose Gottemoeller participated in the meeting.

The committee discussed efforts to strengthen security cooperation between the two nations, officials said. This includes enhancing Iraq's security capabilities and modernizing Iraqi forces. Officials looked at the U.S. foreign military sales program. Iraq is buying F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and M-1 Abrams tanks from the United States, among other programs. These procurements include spare parts, training, maintenance help and other considerations.

The officials also discussed regional issues and the ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria, defense officials said.

The memorandum of understanding -- signed by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Dlimi -- covers the range of U.S.-Iraqi defense cooperation and covers the next five years. This includes high-level military-to-military visits, professional military education cooperation, counterterrorism cooperation and the development of defense intelligence capabilities.

The two nations committed to joint exercises including exchanges of information dealing with humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, officials said.