Huey IIs arrive in Lebanon
The US Army Project Office for Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft has confirmed the delivery of six Bell Huey II helicopters to the Lebanese Air Force at the start of December.
The six Huey IIs departed the Bell Helicopter facility at Alliance Airport in Grand Prairie, Texas aboard an AN-124 transport aircraft on 10 December. After an initial stop in Scotland, the aircraft safely arrived in Beirut on 12 December 12.
On 20 July, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) to Lebanon for the six helicopters and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.
The notification characterised the proposed FMS case as serving US ‘national, economic, and security interests by providing Lebanon with necessary mobility capabilities to maintain internal security, enforce the UN’s Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701, and counter terrorist threats’.
‘The proposed sale of these aircraft will enable Lebanon to meet present and future challenges posed by internal and border security threats, evacuations, search and rescue, and drug interdiction operations. The Huey II will augment Lebanon's aging fleet of UH-1H aircraft,’ it added.
In confirming the aircraft delivery, representatives at the army’s Non-Standard Rotary Wing Project Office acknowledged: ‘There were some challenges along the way but the Project Office for Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft team has worked diligently with the Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) Security Assistance Management Directorate (SAMD), Military Liaison Officers and State Department personnel to work through these challenges.’
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