United States Present Maritime and Repair Equipment to Uzbekistan (02/13/2002)
2002 Press Releases
United States Present Maritime and Repair Equipment to Uzbekistan
On February 13, John E. Herbst, U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan presented the Deputy Chairman and Commander of the Regional "South" Headquarters of the Uzbek Committee for State Border Protection, Major-General Ilkhom Ibragimov, with maritime and repair equipment for use by the Committee's Maritime Wing based in Termez.
The equipment includes five diesel maritime engines, one metal-cutting guillotine, one metal lathe; one steel plate rolling machine; electrical cables, and four welding transformers. A 40-hour training course on Argon welding techniques was also provided last fall in Tashkent. Within the next six weeks, additional equipment will be delivered including 60 tons of boat steel, one diesel generator and 15 Barrett Marine radios.
The equipment, valued at over $200,000, will significantly enhance the ability of the Maritime Wing personnel to perform their assigned mission of patrolling the Amu Darya River. In April 2000, the U.S. government announced it would expand cooperative efforts jointly with the Uzbek government to improve border security in Central Asia under a program entitled the Central Asian Security Initiative (CASI). At that time, the United States pledged to provide approximately $3 million in assistance for equipment and training.
The purpose of this program is to help Uzbekistan combat terrorism and the illicit trafficking in weapons of mass destruction (WMD), conventional arms and illegal narcotics. The largest portion of this assistance is provided under the Export Control and Related Border Security Program or EXBS which focuses on providing equipment, training and infrastructure support to develop and strengthen the detection, interdiction and enforcement capabilities of Customs, Border Guards and other border security and law enforcement organizations. The maritime and repair equipment is provided under this program. Last year, assistance under the EXBS program amounted to $1.85 million.
In 2001, $2.83 million is budgeted for the EXBS program in Uzbekistan. This represents a 65% increase over last year's funding. Included in this year's budget is $900,000 for communications equipment, $400,000 for surveillance and detection equipment, $ 120,000 for personal protection and medical equipment, $ 135,000 for vehicles and transportation, and over $ 500,000 for training and other assistance.