Friday, July 30, 2010

Assistant Secretary of Defense Visits Lebanon

July 30, 2010 Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, Michael Vickers, visited Beirut on July 29 to meet with Minister of Defense Elias Murr, the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) LTG Jean Kahwaji, and LAF Special Operations Forces. During his visit, Assistant Secretary Vickers reaffirmed US commitment to providing the LAF special operations forces with the advanced training and equipment necessary to continue countering extremism inside Lebanon , extending the Government of Lebanon’s authority throughout Lebanon’s territory. Vickers noted that over the past year the Department of Defense provided nearly $7 million dollars in training and equipment to LAF special operations forces. Assistant Secretary Vickers made visits to Roumieh and Amchit to talk with LAF special operations soldiers and officers, who displayed their new equipment and demonstrated unit capabilities during live-fire exercises. The Assistant Secretary also attended with Ambassador Michele Sison, an annual reception hosted by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Near East and Southeast Asia (NESA) Center which brought together over one hundred LAF officers who are alumni of NESA sponsored executive seminars and training.