Lebanese Army Receives US Donation of 3 Patrol Boats & 4 Quick Reaction Boats

27.02.2024 Lebanon
Lebanese Army Receives US Donation of 3 Patrol Boats & 4 Quick Reaction Boats

Lebanese Army Receives US Donation of 3 Patrol Boats & 4 Quick Reaction Boats

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In the presence of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander, General Joseph Aoun, the US Ambassador to Lebanon, Lisa Johnson, and a number of Military Attachés, a ceremony was held at the Naval Forces Command - Beirut, to hand over three patrol boats and four quick reaction boats as a donation from the United States to the Lebanese Army.

The ceremony began with the national anthems of Lebanon and the United States, followed by the raising of the Lebanese flag on the boats. The Commander of the Navy delivered a welcoming speech, followed by a briefing on the boats, their significance, and their anticipated missions within the Navy, the Lebanese Army said in a statement.

The Army Commander delivered a speech in which he affirmed that the donation will contribute to strengthening and developing the capabilities of the naval forces, in addition to helping them carry out the assigned tasks in light of the challenges they face, especially combating illegal immigration across the sea and providing security protection for oil platforms in the future.

He also emphasized that the donation signifies the ongoing support of the US authorities, as well as other friend countries and armies, and demonstrates their commitment to the security and stability of Lebanon amidst the successive political, economic, and social crises it is facing. He further highlighted the ongoing war in the south and the serious repercussions it has on the entirety of Lebanon.

He then pointed out the importance of the role of the Navy in the Lebanese Army to protect Lebanon’s maritime borders and combat all forms of smuggling and illegal immigration, and its arrest of a large number of people during previous years who intended to go to Europe.

General Aoun considered that the unwavering determination and commitment of naval personnel to confront challenges and enhance their capabilities, which has enabled Lebanon to become a member of the International Hydrographic Organization, also known as the IHO, and the establishment of the new academy that trains and ensures the readiness of working crews in accordance with international laws and standards, and the establishment of a research and rescue center, equipped with fixed and mobile drones and radars, and operational rooms across multiple regions, in addition to permanent cooperation and coordination with the UNIFIL Naval Force.

General Aoun added: “The exceptional economic situation currently experienced in Lebanon has had a negative impact on the army, which is now confronted with significant challenges. Maintaining security and stability amidst the deterioration of the socio-economic situation requires tremendous effort from the military institution, amidst the suffering of its personnel from the repercussions of the economic crisis. Nevertheless, they carry out their duties with great dedication and conviction, giving their best in all assigned missions, whether by land, sea, or air.”

“I would like to thank the United States of America for their ongoing support to the army through training and provision of military equipment, as well as the financial support for its personnel for seven months. We also extend our gratitude to all friendly countries and armies for the support provided to the LAF. We will remain ready to face any challenges, no matter the risks, because protecting Lebanon, its security, borders, and resources, is our top priority and sacred duty,” he concluded.

For her part, the US Ambassador affirmed that the donation, valued at approximately $25 million, embodies the cooperation between the Lebanese and American armies, and the United States' commitment to supporting the capabilities of the military institution, particularly the naval forces, in order to enhance their capabilities and enable them to more effectively protect the maritime borders. She emphasized that the United States is committed to supporting the Lebanese army in the long term, based on the deep trust between the two sides.

“Our partnership extends beyond this donation. In 2023, the United States pledged $130 million in foreign military assistance to maintain military readiness and expand the capabilities of the Lebanese army. US Coast Guard teams and American maritime security advisors have closely worked with the Lebanese Navy to ensure their readiness to utilize these vessels in order to expand their capabilities within Lebanese regional and coastal waters,” the US Ambassador to Lebanon added.

“We commend your dedication and hard work for the people of Lebanon and our ongoing partnership, which includes training and exchange of expertise between our two countries. The Lebanese Navy sailors have demonstrated their effectiveness in utilizing the new vessels to confront challenges within the Lebanese regional waters,” she concluded. (Source & Photo © Lebanese Army)




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