U.S. Ambassador Elizabeth Richard met with the head of the ISF Training Academy, Brigadier General Ahmad Hajjar, on November 30. They discussed the long-standing collaboration between the United States and Lebanon’s security services and the U.S. Government’s continued support of the training academy.
While visiting the academy in Aramoun, Ambassador Richard viewed the facilities and equipment that have been provided by Department of State’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.
She also toured the tactical village and the administration building, which were funded by INL, and viewed the newly-donated indoor virtual simulation firing range. This state of the art system, provided by INL, will enhance the capabilities of ISF trainees in marksmanship, and can also be used for in-service training.
To help strengthen the professional capacity of Lebanese law enforcement, INL has provided $160 million in assistance to the ISF since 2008 as part of the overall U.S. security assistance program to Lebanon.
Following is a statement that Ambassador Richard gave at the end of the visit:
General Hajjar, I’m so delighted to be here today. Thank you very much for inviting me. I am just very very happy to see in action the latest piece of training equipment here and capacity for your training academy. This is the Milo system which will allow your officers to practice in staged environments, some very real scenarios, and I hope will contribute to their professionalism. One thing I would like to say is we are very proud of our long association with the ISF, many years now, and almost since 2008 in that period of time we’ve provided more than $160 million in training equipment, the beautiful forensics building and the training village that we saw outside. I just want to say that this investment is not a gift to Lebanon; it’s not something that we are providing for you; it is a partnership and it’s something that we are using with you. It is to train ourselves, to learn from each other and to build the capacity of the ISF. I think something that what we are seeing today, this new system shows that the ISF has come so far over the decades, and what we are talking about now is really a quite a sophisticated level of training and preparation for your officers. And I just want to congratulate you on everything you’ve done as the head of the Academy for the last two years since you’ve been in charge, and I look forward to a really long partnership with you. Thank you very much for inviting us today.