General Joseph K. Aoun, Commander, Lebanese Armed Forces, honored America’s fallen heroes during an Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony with Major General John P. Sullivan, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, June 26, 2018, the U.S. Army said in a statement.
Aoun laid the wreath (photo) as part of his official visit to the United States, where he met with officials to discuss matters of mutual interest between the two nations.
According to the Pentagon, Aoun met with General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This is Aoun’s third visit to the Nation’s Capital since becoming the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces.
The two leaders discussed challenges and security concerns in the region, including combating terrorism. They also discussed continued US-Lebanese military cooperation. The partnership between the United States and Lebanon is a crucial element to peace and security in the Middle East region, the Pentagon said.
Earlier in June, House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee held a hearing on the Trump administration’s arms sales to various countries including Lebanon.
The United States has provided some $1.7 billion worth of military equipment to the Lebanese Armed Forces since 2006 to bolster the Middle Eastern country from the threats posed by terrorist groups.
In December, US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard stated that the US will supply $120 million worth of new systems to the LAF, including six new MD-530G light attack helicopters, six new Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicles, and leading-edge communication and night vision devices.
In early June, four A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft were formally handed over to Lebanon by the US, completing an order of six planes two months ahead of schedule.
The Departments of State and Defense also work closely with the LAF to support the provision of training and equipment, including fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, vehicles, arms, and munitions.
Some 120 US military personnel are also deployed to Lebanon, at the request of the Lebanese government, in order to enhance Beirut’s counterterrorism capabilities.