Today, Ambassador Hale celebrated the inauguration of a new tactical village and administrative and forensics building at the Internal Security Forces (ISF) Academy in Aramoun. These facilities represent an investment of $10.2 million by the U.S. government in Lebanon’s security services. After unveiling the inaugural plaque alongside ISF Director Major General Basbous, the Ambassador toured the new facilities constructed with the support of the U.S. government. He also observed training exercises in the tactical village, which were being run as part of the national leader protection course conducted with American support.
The tactical training village gives the ISF its first local capacity to conduct practical exercises in a variety of mock urban settings and helps poise the ISF Academy as regional hub for international police tactical training. Since 2008, the United States has provided over $150 million dollars to train and equip the ISF through the State Department’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).
Below are Ambassador Hale’s remarks as delivered.
Good morning; it’s a great pleasure and an honor for me to be here with you today ISF Director General Basbous and General Hajjar. I am delighted to join you here today to mark another step forward in our partnership between America and Lebanon and between America and the ISF, and to celebrate the inauguration of the ISF Academy’s tactical training facility and forensics building.
Collaboration on this project between our two countries beganm as many of you know, over two years ago. The facilities we are inaugurating today reflect America’s enduring commitment to Lebanon, and our enduring commitment to regional security. Since 2008, the United States has provided over $150 million dollars to train and equip the ISF through the State Department’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The tactical training village and this forensics building represent a $10.2 million investment by the American people in Lebanon’s security services.
These are difficult times for Lebanon. The spillover of terrorism and extremism from Syria, the presence of huge numbers of refugees in Lebanon, are serious challenges for Lebanon. But America’s commitment to the Lebanese people remains as strong as ever. We will continue to do our part to support your core institutions, like the ISF, so they can uphold order and security, protect the rights of individuals, help defend Lebanon against extremist threats, and preserve our shared values and ways of life.
Today’s inauguration is a demonstration of our continuing partnership and friendship. It is our hope that this facility will help shape a new generation of Lebanese law enforcement professionals who will set high standards of performance. I am certain that, under the vision and direction of General Hajjar, and with the continued strong leadership of General Basbous, this Academy will thrive and become a training hub for the region.
Thank you to all who worked to make this project a success.
General Basbous, General Hajjar, I know these facilities are in very good hands. ISF cadets and officers, I encourage you to make the most of these facilities and the excellent training you will receive here to become outstanding law enforcement leaders in your communities.
It is my honor to join you all in celebrating today’s inauguration. Thank you.