Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Ambassador Hale Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to the Lebanese Army at Humvee Handover Ceremony

April 2, 2014
Today U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale participated in a ceremony to mark the delivery of 176 High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (Humvees) and 300 M-60 Machine Gun units to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).  The M1123 Humvee is a versatile, technologically advanced vehicle capable of performing both combat and combat-support roles.  The vehicles are primarily used for troop and equipment movement, combat patrol, and employment of various weapon systems.   The M-60 provides both a defensive, such as base or site protection, and offensive capability in offensive operations.  To date, the U.S. has delivered a total of 1,287 Humvees to the LAF.  An additional 40 Humvees are scheduled to be delivered later this month.
Below are Ambassador Hale's remarks at the ceremony.
Good morning. 
I would like to start by extending the condolences of the United States of America to the victims of Saturday's attack against the Army checkpoint near Arsal.  The targeting of Lebanon's security forces is simply unacceptable.  These crimes are an attack not only on the institutions of the Lebanese state, but in fact on all Lebanese.  Our thoughts and our encouragement are with the brave personnel of the Army and of the Security Forces of Lebanon as they do their difficult and dangerous tasks today as we speak throughout Lebanon, including in places like Tripoli and Arsal.
These attacks reaffirm the importance of these institutions in upholding order and stability in Lebanon, and strengthen the resolve of the United States to support these institutions as the sole defenders of the Lebanese state.
The events of recent weeks are a stark reminder of the tough battle that Lebanon is fighting as it confronts terrorism, extremism, and unrest.  Many nations, including my own, have faced terrorism.  We know all too well the price paid for threats left unchecked and unanswered.  The many recent successes by the Lebanese Army in capturing and killing terrorists show that Lebanon is on the right path, and your leaders have the right strategy, and that you are succeeding in this fight against terrorism.  The United States is proud to stand with you, the people of Lebanon, its Army, and Security Forces in this fight.
However, to successfully fight and win against terrorism, an army must be properly equipped, trained, and supported by its allies.  It is for this reason that ceremonies like today's are so important.  These ceremonies demonstrate the commitment of the United States to the success of the Lebanese Army and security forces in their mission to provide security and stability throughout Lebanon. 
It's why we've assisted the Army and Internal Security Forces with over $1 billion since 2005.  Our support for the Lebanese Army is long standing, and in addition to weapons, includes training for Lebanese soldiers here in Lebanon and in the United States.
The weapons systems presented today represent the continuing partnership between the United States and Lebanon and our commitment to peace and security here.  These vehicles will enhance Army missions across Lebanon.  They are highly sought after throughout the world for their reliability, dependability, and ease of maintenance.  The Humvees add force protection to Army personnel as they conduct their missions.  The M-60s fill a critical need for machine guns as a crew-served weapon. 
Today, we reaffirm the enduring support of the United States for Lebanon, its people, its Army, and its institutions.  Through our assistance to the Army, the United States stands with the institutions of the Lebanese state in their battle against the adversaries of Lebanese peace, prosperity, and stability.
Thank you.