Tester touches down in Iraq

Senator will post regular tour updates on his website

(BAGHDAD, Iraq) – Senator Jon Tester has just touched down in Iraq for a tour of the desert war zone.

Tester will visit various regions of the country, meeting with military commanders, Iraqi government leaders and Montana troops.  

Due to security concerns, details of the visit cannot be released in advance.  But Tester will post updates from his visit on his website, http://tester.senate.gov.

Tester is traveling with Senator Jim Webb, D-Va.  During their visit, Webb and Tester plan to meet with Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of multi-national forces in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker.  They have also invited Iraq's Prime Minister to a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Tester has long criticized the Bush Administration's management of the war in Iraq.  Since taking office in January he and Webb have repeatedly called on their Senate colleagues to change direction.

"There's no doubt our military is doing a great job under incredibly difficult conditions, and Jim and I look forward to seeing the work they're doing with our own eyes," Tester said.  "This is a chance to meet directly with folks on the ground and see what's going on.  Firsthand perspective like this goes a long way when making good policy back in Washington."