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News from the Embassy

The United States and Libya Conduct Military Maintenance Training Seminar

By Public Affairs Staff

American and Libyan air force members joined together for a two-day seminar on aircraft maintenance.

TRIPOLI – A team of United States Air Force maintenance experts recently completed a familiarization seminar that is hoped to lead to a continuing training program for Libyan air force maintenance experts.

The three-day maintenance seminar took place in early August at Mitiga Air Base near Tripoli, focusing on assisting the Libyans in designing their maintenance program for C-130 cargo planes. As with all U.S. military cooperation with Libya, the program focused on non-lethal aspects of military activities.

The event included procedures for managing aviation maintenance schedules, parts logistics management, maintainer safety and training principles from a Non-Commissioned Officer perspective.

Nearly 50 Libyan air force members of all ranks and experience levels took part in the lecture series, the first of its kind between the two militaries since diplomatic relations were re-established in 2004.

The American personnel were Maj. Larry Hadwin and Master Sgt. Steve Harris, both of the Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Wing out of Savannah, Georgia.

“We gave them tools and ideas to think about,” said Hadwin. “We didn’t try to re-teach them how to work on the aircraft.”

An invitation has been extended to the Libyan air force to continue the  security cooperation exchange by sending teams to the 165th Airlift Wing’s base in Georgia, to observe USAF maintenance programs in action.

In the last 18 months, the United States and Libya have made great strides regarding military cooperation. The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on future defense cooperation, and finalized an agreement that sets the stage for a new security cooperation relationship.

In June of 2009, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell paid a three-day port call in Tubruq, Libya, as part of a theater security cooperation mission to strengthen the maritime partnership between the United States and Libya. Boutwell was the first U.S. military ship to visit Libya in more than 40 years. 

Over the next year, the Embassy hopes to initiate International Military Education and Training programs for Libya, including English language training for military officials. There will also be efforts to increase the number of bilateral exchanges and visits, particularly in introducing Libyans to U.S. standards of military conduct and increasing the prospects for long-term interoperability.