In a ceremony highlighting growing Lao-U.S. security assistance cooperation, U.S. Ambassador to Lao PDR Dr. Peter M. Haymond handed over nine Ford Everest field ambulances to Deputy Minister of National Defense Major General Aesamay Leuangvanxay on October 1 at the Ministry of National Defense. The United States is providing the ambulances through its Foreign Military Financing program. This is the first-ever grant of this kind from the U.S. Department of Defense to the Ministry of National Defense.
The field ambulances, spare parts and associated training are valued at over $600,000 dollars, and will assist Lao People’s Army soldiers while responding to medical emergencies and transporting injured personnel, and will improve their ability to respond to disaster scenarios in remote areas of the Lao PDR.
“Our two militaries worked together to identify additional equipment needed for the Lao People’s Army medical and humanitarian aid and disaster response operations. The result of that collaboration is what brings us here today. We are proud that these vehicles will help the Lao People’s Army respond to future disasters, whatever they may be, to help the Lao people” Ambassador Haymond said.
This grant assistance followed discussions in the U.S.-Lao Bilateral Defense Dialogue, which is one part of the U.S.-Lao Comprehensive Partnership. The most recent Dialogue focused on protecting Public Health and increasing Military Medical partnerships, as well as civil-military operations and disaster relief. The high-quality Ford Everest ambulances will meet these goals as the United States works in partnership with the government and people of the Lao PDR to help reach our common goal of an increasingly strong, prosperous Lao PDR.