ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (March 30, 2012) — Today, General James N. Mattis, Commander of U.S. Central Command, visited Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Friday, March 30, 2012 as part of a long-planned visit to the region. General Mattis met with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, Defense Minister Begench Gundogdyev, Chairman of the State Border Service Myrat Yslamov and other senior officials to discuss issues of common interest in support of peace and security throughout the Central Asian region. Gen. Mattis reaffirmed Central Command’s intention to continue cooperation with the Government of Turkmenistan on issues of common concern in the future.Gen. James N. Mattis assumed command of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in August 2010. Prior to heading CENTCOM, he commanded the United States Joint Forces Command and held major command posts in both Afghanistan and Iraq as well. He is a native of the Pacific Northwest, where he graduated from Central Washington State University in 1972. The headquarters of CENTCOM is located in Tampa, Florida, from which they maintain responsibility for U.S. military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.