WASHINGTON: The United States recently donated a number of water trucks, field artillery cannon and patrol boats to the Pakistani government, according to U.S. State Department news releases.
Four water trucks were provided to the Pakistani Army’s special services group Feb. 12. The next day, Pakistan’s maritime security agency obtained five American fast-patrol boats, while the Pakistani army received 48 self-propelled field artillery cannon.
The water trucks will be employed in humanitarian relief missions in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region. The boats will enhance Pakistan’s coastal interdiction and patrol capabilities. And, the cannon will be used by Pakistani government forces to combat terrorists that operate in its homeland.
“These field artillery cannons are an important part of enhancing the capabilities of Pakistan’s army as it continues to wage its courageous fight against terrorists who seek to destroy Pakistan’s people and way of life,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, U.S. Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan deputy commander, as he officially handed over the M1095A5 howitzers to Pakistani Army Brig. Gen. Farrukh Saeed, commander of the 25th Mechanized Artillery Division.
Nagata also participated in ceremonies featuring the turning over of the water trucks and fast boats to Pakistani senior military officials.
Pakistan is slated to receive another four fast-patrol boats later this year.
“Whether it’s search-and-rescue, combating smugglers, preventing crime or protecting Pakistan’s coastal areas, we hope the increased capabilities these boats provide greatly enhance the MSA’s ability to conduct the full spectrum of maritime operations,” Nagata said during the handover ceremony in Karachi Feb. 13.
During the past three years, U.S. civilian and military assistance to Pakistan has totaled more than $4 billion. Assistance provided and delivered has included support for medical aid, school refurbishment, bridge and well reconstruction, food distribution, agricultural and education projects, 14 F-16 fighter aircraft, 10 Mi-17 helicopters, more than 450 vehicles for Pakistan’s Frontier Corps, hundreds of night-vision goggles, day/night scopes, radios, and thousands of protective vests and first-aid items for Pakistan’s security forces.
In addition, the United States has funded and provided training for more than 370 Pakistani military officers in a wide range of leadership and development programs, covering topics such as counterterrorism, intelligence, logistics, medical operations, flight safety and military law.
(Compiled from U.S. Embassy, Islamabad, Pakistan, news releases.)