WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — On May 18, 2010, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Michele J. Sison presented 20 Harley Davidson motorcycles to the commanding General of the Lebanese national police, the Internal Security Forces (ISF). As part of a program implemented by the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in close cooperation with the Government of Lebanon, 20 state-of-the-art police motorcycles, identical to ones used by many American law enforcement agencies, were produced in the U.S. and recently delivered to Lebanon for handover to the ISF.

These motorcycles will enable the ISF to perform its law enforcement, safety and traffic management functions. They are outfitted with specialized police equipment including enhanced steering and braking capabilities and lights and sirens with mounted microphones and speakers. The ISF will deploy the motorcycles throughout Lebanon to assist ISF personnel in fulfilling their professional responsibilities of protecting Lebanon’s citizens and residents.

The delivery of these 20 motorcycles complements the fleet of police vehicles and other equipment donated to the ISF by the United States, including 480 Dodge Chargers and 60 Ford Explorers. In addition to the 20 new motorcycles, the United States also provided spare parts and technical assistance to refurbish an additional 24 Harley Davidson motorcycles already in the ISF fleet. The value of the project, including the new vehicles, parts and refurbishment, totals $498,000.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, Ambassador Sison characterized the donation as filling a specific need for the ISF: “Today, we add another iconic American vehicle to the ISF arsenal… The capability that these Harley Davidson motorcycles will provide the ISF is something that the ISF officers who enforce the law in Lebanon have been asking for… These impressive and easily recognizable motorcycles will certainly assist the ISF in projecting its presence in the eyes of the Lebanese citizens, and if I might add – doing so with great style.”

Since 2007, the U.S. Government has committed over $104 million for training and equipment to the ISF to strengthen and build its professional capacity. The programs assist the ISF to enforce the rule of law and protect the Lebanese people. The professional development of the ISF is vital to ensure Lebanon’s sovereignty, security, independence and prosperity and represents a fundamental shared objective of the U.S. and Lebanon.