Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lebanese Armed Forces Pilots Receive U.S. Training on “Raven” Aircraft

The United States will provide the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) with twelve Raven unmanned aircraft in the coming months. The provision of this aircraft was discussed during recent visits to the United States by General Jean Kahwaji, Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, and Minister of Defense Elias El-Murr.
LAF Air Force personnel are currently receiving training on the "Raven" unmanned aerial vehicle in the United States. The Raven has an advanced, day and night electronic sensor providing immediate intelligence information and is an integral component of the LAF's "Sensor to Shooter" system that incorporates the armed "Caravan" aircraft and other LAF ground, air, and naval resources.
The "Raven" performs remote reconnaissance and surveillance, identifies targets, provides protection and security, and, reports on military operations in urban areas and the results of battles. The U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Special Operations Command, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are using the Raven in combat operations throughout the U.S. Central Command Area of Operations.
This training course, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), is one part of the comprehensive, robust U.S. military assistance program to Lebanon. U.S. military assistance to Lebanon, which totals more than $410 million since 2006, includes aircraft, tanks, artillery, small boats, infantry weapons, ammunition, Humvees, cargo trucks, training, and parts for all equipment, including the helicopters. Assistance focuses on needs the LAF leadership identifies.

U.S. military assistance strengthens the LAF and increases its capacity to defend Lebanon's borders. The United States supports the government of Lebanon and the LAF as it safeguards the peace, unity and sovereignty of Lebanon.


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