A U.S. Department of State-funded “tactical village” soon will be built in Beirut in conjunction with Lebanese Security Forces, the latest step in a series of military aid packages from the Obama Administration.
State today acknowledged that it awarded a $9.3 million contract to Zerock Construction Lebanon S.A.L. to build the “practical training facility,” though technically Zerock secured it Dec. 11, according to an award notice that U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor located via routine database research.
The original pre- solicitation notice described the project as the “Construction of a Tactical Training Village, an Outdoor Shooting Range, and External and Infrastructure Works, with an option to construct an Academic and Forensics Training Center.”
The facility construction follows the administration's revelation that "In the past six months, the United States has provided approximately $140.37 million in equipment and assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) that includes aircraft, a vessel, vehicles, guns, ammunition, equipment, and medical supplies." According to a U.S. Embassy-Beirut fact sheet dated Dec. 21, the aid package includes $58 million "to provide six new Huey II helicopters and spare part s" as well as coastal security craft, rifles and machine guns, and tens of millions of rounds of ammunition.
"This assistance is coordinated by the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the U.S. Embassy and is part of U.S. efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), recognizing its importance, as Lebanon’s sole legitimate defense force, in securing Lebanon’s borders and defending the sovereignty and independence of the state" the fact sheet says.