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Libya seeks $600 million training package from US

Libyan soldiers marching.The Libyan government has requested a training package from the United States worth $600 million, which covers the training of six to eight thousand troops over eight years.

The proposed package covers training, facilities and training equipment, including 637 M4A4 carbines and small arms ammunition, according to the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which issued the potential sales notice on January 22.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of Libya,” the DSCA said.

The proposed sale will enable Libya to develop, and train a General Purpose Force. The basic, collective and advanced training will be critical for establishing a professional and disciplined General Purpose Force used in protecting Libya’s institutions, facilities, and personnel as well as keeping peace and security within Libya, the Agency said.

Implementation of the proposed sale will require the assignment of 350 US Government and contractor personnel for up to 8 years to conduct training at the Novo Selo training site in Bulgaria.

Libya is still struggling with insecurity problems and is attempting to bolster the military following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011 after nine months of civil war.

Since then, the country has descended into chaos with various post-revolutionary militias, some of whom are alleged to be aligned to Al Qaeda, operating throughout the country.

A group of nations which include the US, UK, France, Italy, Turkey and some Gulf Arab states are actively training the Libyan Army and providing various forms of assistance which include weapons and logistical supplies.

A total of 15 000 Libyan troops will be trained over the next five years. Turkey, Italy and Britain have pledged to train 8 000 soldiers and police.
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