The top U.S. military officer is in El Salvador to meet with soldiers preparing for deployment in Iraq, to thank them for their support of the U.S.-led mission there.

Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was flying to a remote military base Friday to meet with the troops heading for Iraq, where they will serve in humanitarian roles.

Since 2003, Salvadoran military units ranging in size from 280 to 380 troops have served in Iraq. El Salvador is now the only Latin American country with troops in Iraq.

Mullen's visit comes three months after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates traveled to El Salvador to say the country's contributions in Iraq made it "one of the most faithful coalition partners" for the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.