TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS , Kyrgyzstan - Recently elected local mayors received a first-hand look at the Transit Center at Manas.
The mayors of At-Bashinskiy and Jangi-Jer toured the Transit Center May 21, 2013, where they learned more about the onward movement, airlift, air refueling and theater security cooperation missions.
"We have come here to learn what the Transit Center is," said Tezekbaev Nasyrdin, mayor of Jangi-Jer State Village Administration.
The mayors met with Transit Center leadership who briefed the TCM mission. They then toured the installation, including stops at the vehicle rollover training facility, and KC-135 Stratotanker and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. At each stop, the mayors interacted with U.S. service members.
"Only through interaction do we learn about people - how they live, where they work, what they do," said Aziz Seytaliev, mayor of At-Bashinskiy State Village Administration.
As mayor of the village closest to the Transit Center, Seytaliev was interested in learning more about the installation, particularly how the village and Transit Center could work together.
"We Kyrgyz people have a saying - It is better to have good neighbors than a big fence," Seytaliev said. "We want to be good neighbors."
Col. Corey Martin, Transit Center director, discussed potential partnership opportunities with the villages and thanked the mayors for all that their villages have already done.
"The U.S. tries to be a good neighbor and help with humanitarian assistance projects and military-to-military exchanges with the Kyrgyz," Martin said. "Very few Americans get the opportunity to go to Kyrgyzstan. For you to open up opportunities for our Airmen to go into your villages is very beneficial as they learn more about the world. So, thank you."