Ceremony celebrating the reception of 4 Super Tucano aircrafts in Hamat Air Base
Hamat Air base hosted a ceremony celebrating the reception of 4 Super Tucano aircrafts offered as a donation from the United States of America to LAF in the presence of Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun, United States Ambassador Ms. Elizabeth Richard who headed an accompanying delegation in addition to high ranking officers. The ceremony started with the U.S. and Lebanese national anthems followed by an aerial display of the airplane. The Air Force Commander Brigadier General P.S.C Pilot Ziad Haykal presented a briefing that highlighted the Super Tucano capabilities and its surveillance and combat specifications. Following the briefing the new pilots were introduced and they were handed a degree marking their major in flying the Super Tucanos.
Ambassador Richard delivered a speech afterwards where she noted that this military assistance affirms the strong ties joining Lebanon and the United States as well as the partnership based serving the interests of both friend countries. Ambassador Richard stated that the U.S. military assistance dedicated to LAF amounted to 1.5 billion dollars during the past decade and focused on developing training programs and providing state of the art military equipment and techniques. Her Excellency praised the competence of LAF and confirmed her nation’s willingness to keep on providing assistance to the military institution in the coming stage.
General Aoun also delivered a speech in which he confirmed that this gathering renews the efficient cooperation and historic friendship binding the Armed Forces of the United States and the Lebanese Armed Forces. This highly important phase holds much significance, as it complements the previous stage in which the Lebanese Armed Forces received the first batch of Super Tucano aircrafts last year. In addition, this generous initiative indicates that the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed Forces for close air support will be in constant development, thanks to the state of the art combat and technical characteristics of these aircrafts. He concluded his speech by voicing his appreciation to all friend countries and mainly the United States for its constant support and confidence. Finally, the guests toured the area where the aircrafts were displayed and the ceremony was concluded with an Iftar in honour of the guests.
Speech of the Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun in the handover ceremony of the second batch of Super Tucano aircrafts in Hamat airbase on 12/06/2018
Excellency, Ambassador Elizabeth Richard and accompanying delegation
Esteemed Officers – Esteemed Audience
We meet today in order to renew the efficient cooperation and historic friendship binding the Armed Forces of the United States and the Lebanese Armed Forces. This highly important phase holds much significance, as it complements the previous stage in which the Lebanese Armed Forces received the first batch of Super Tucano aircrafts last year. In addition, this generous initiative indicates that the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed Forces for close air support will be in constant development, thanks to the state of the art combat and technical characteristics of these aircrafts. Our meeting today confirms the firm will of the United States of America to support the Lebanese Armed Forces in the war against terrorism and to preserve their stability during the crises that the region is witnessing.
Our Armed Forces have gained the trust of the international society, thanks to their outstanding achievements in fighting terrorism, whether through direct military confrontation or through precisely monitoring and dismantling terrorist cells as well as arresting their members. This is considered as a major accomplishment because despite our modest military capabilities, the high combat level of our units and the good usage of available weapons and equipment were clearly visible. It is also worth mentioning that we are constantly aiming to boost our capabilities through high professionalism and through the greatly appreciated military aid offered by our international allies mainly the United States of America. These valuable donations benefit national stability and strengthen Lebanon’s position as part of the international counter-terrorism community.
In the end, I would like to express my ultimate appreciation to the United States of America for their constant support through military equipment and training courses provided to the officers and soldiers of the Lebanese Armed Forces. Additionally, I would like to thank Ambassador Elizabeth Richard and her work team for the distinct accuracy, the close follow up and the sincere will to establish the best relations between our friend Armed Forces ever since Her Excellency assumed her diplomatic duties in Lebanon.
Long Live the Lebanese – US friendship