On March 26, Ambassador Dorothy Shea joined Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) General Ziad Haikal at Hamat Air Base for a ribbon cutting ceremony for four large munitions storage facilities, which were funded by U.S. government contributions. The event was also attended by Darren Cormack, CEO of Mines Advisory Group, to which the United States has provided over $2.8 million since 2018 for ammunition storage projects and training at three LAF facilities. These projects protect the safety of LAF personnel and the Lebanese people by preventing the potential misuse or mishandling of explosive materials, and is one important step toward our shared goal of countering weapons proliferation and terrorism. While at the site, the Ambassador also presided over a graduation ceremony for LAF trainers and soldiers, who completed an eight-week flight medic training course, funded and monitored by the U.S. military.
In the ceremony, Ambassador Shea noted: “This is my third visit to Hamat Air Base in the last month. Last week, we welcomed General McKenzie of the U.S. Central Command and last month we oversaw the donation of $32 million in new Huey II aircraft. This catalog of engagement is a testament to our commitment and ongoing U.S. support for the LAF.”
Ambassador Shea thanked General Haikal and his team for their partnership. When congratulating the flight medic graduates, she stated: “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.”