Friday, December 21, 2012

Media Fact Sheet: U.S. Assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces

Fact Sheet:
December 21, 2012
Media Fact Sheet
For Immediate Release
U.S. Assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces
In the past six months, the United States has provided approximately $140.37 million in equipment and assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) that includes aircraft, a vessel, vehicles, guns, ammunition, equipment, and medical supplies. This assistance is coordinated by the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the U.S. Embassy and is part of U.S. efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), recognizing its importance, as Lebanon's sole legitimate defense force, in securing Lebanon's borders and defending the sovereignty and independence of the state.
The $58 million military assistance package to provide six new Huey II helicopters and spare parts for both the Huey II and existing LAF Huey I fleet is the largest single military assistant package in U.S.-Lebanese bilateral military relations. The helicopters dramatically increase the LAF's air support capabilities in order to provide air cover for troops on the ground, provide search and rescue capabilities, and better secure Lebanon's borders. The U.S. has also provided a flight simulator device and built a special-purpose building for the device at Rayak Air Base to improve pilot training. The LAF further received five aircraft refueling semitrailers.
This month, the LAF also received a $29.8 million, 42 meter coastal security craft manufactured in the United States. The craft will enable the Lebanese Navy to conduct extended-period off-shore patrols and increases its ability to protect Lebanon's maritime border.
To assist the LAF's operational capability to help maintain calm and stability in Lebanon, the U.S. has provided over 1,000 M16A4 rifles, 24 .50 caliber machine guns, 80 M203A2 grenade launchers, 38 million rounds of ammunition, 960 field telephones, 30 equipment kits to support operating M198 howitzers, survey sets to support field artillery, and two interactive training devices to improve artillery fire accuracy.
In support of the LAF's operational mobility and ability to quickly respond to crises, the U.S. delivered 48 armored and unarmored HMMWVs, 31 armored and unarmored HMMWV cargo troop carriers, and 10 heavy duty tow trucks.