In another relevant move to lend its support to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the government of the United States funded through its embassy in Lebanon 4 large munitions storage facilities at Hamat Air Base.
These projects aim “to protect the safety of LAF personnel and the Lebanese people by preventing the potential misuse or mishandling of explosive materials,” the U.S. embassy issued in a statement, adding that it is “one important step toward our shared goal of countering weapons proliferation and terrorism.”
The facilities were officially inaugurated on Friday, March 26th, by the Lebanese Army‘s General Ziad Haikal and U.S Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, along with the CEO of Mines Advisory Group, Darren Cormack.
According to the U.S. Embassy media notice, the United States has been providing financial support to Mines Advisory Group since 2018, amounting to over $2.8 million, for projects related to ammunition storage as well as training at 3 Lebanese Army facilities.
It is to note that this was Ambassador Shea’s third recent visit to the Hamat airbase. The first was last month to oversee the U.S. donation to the Lebanese Army of $32 million in new Huey II aircraft. It was followed last week with a visit to the airbase with General McKenzie of the U.S. Central Command.
“This catalog of engagement is a testament to our commitment and ongoing U.S. support for the LAF,” she indicated in that regard.
A graduation ceremony for LAF flight medic graduates, which training was funded and monitored by the U.S. military, also took place on Friday at Hamat Air Base.
Ambassador Shea, who presided over the ceremony, addressed the graduates, saying, “We are proud of these capabilities and how you will share your knowledge through train-the-trainer experiences. This training illustrates the broad scope of our support for the LAF.”