On June 10, John R. Purnell, U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan, presented a total of $6,090,000 worth of equipment to the Uzbek Ministry of Defense, Border Troops of the National Security Service, State Customs Committee, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the National Security Service.
Accepting the equipment was Deputy Minister Rustam Niyazov, for the Ministry of Defense (MOD); Deputy Commander Rashid Habiev, for the Border Troops of the National Security Service; First Deputy Chairman Holdar Serikbaev, for the State Customs Committee; First Deputy Minister Tahir Mallajanov, for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). Also participating in the ceremony were officials from the Governments of Uzbekistan and the United States.
The equipment consists of general investigative equipment and database hardware for the MVD's Counter-Narcotics Division ($93,000); drug laboratory equipment for the MVD's Main Drug Lab ($125,000); computer equipment (computers and printers for Border Troops, Customs, MVD, and NSS units ($188,000); 12 Harris air-to-ground radios for the MOD ($884,000); and 114 Harris radio systems for the Border Troops reconnaissance platoons ($4,800,000).
The wide array of equipment will significantly enhance the ability of the receiving Uzbek agencies to perform their mission of detecting, deterring, preventing, and interdicting trafficking of drugs, illicit materials, and weapons of mass destruction and protecting the borders of Uzbekistan.
The equipment was presented under three different assistance programs: the State Department-funded International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and the Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) programs and the Department of Defense-funded Counter Narcotics (CN) program. Provision of the equipment is the result of a year-long extensive coordination effort between the Embassy's Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Office of the Defense Attache (DAO), Office of the EXBS Advisor, and the recipient Uzbek agencies.
Aloke Shekhar, Uzbekistan,
Special for PRAVDA.Ru