Remarks by Ambassador Rubinstein at the Ministry of Defense Ceremony for the arrival of UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters


03 AUG 2017

Thank you for the warm welcome.  It is a great honor to be here with you, Your Excellency Minister Horchani, assembled officers and airmen of the Tunisian Air Force, and honored guests at this important event to celebrate the arrival of new aircraft for the Tunisian Air Force and to mark once again the close partnership between our two countries and our armed forces.

The aircraft you see here are four of eight UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters ordered in 2015.  Each is a sophisticated tool which enables the Tunisian Air Force to succeed in its counter-terrorism operations.  With these aircraft the Air Force will move soldiers, conduct air assaults and detect terrorist targets, and be there to evacuate injured soldiers and save lives.  These aircraft have increased the Tunisian Air Force’s capability to defend the Tunisian nation, secure its borders, and integrate its air and ground forces, all of which makes Tunisians safer.

These aircraft also represent the strong US commitment to support the Tunisian Air Force and its armed forces in general in achieving its most important goals.  They are the fruits of a partnership based on trust between our two nations, enabling us to share not just high tech tools but expertise, learning experiences, training, our defense strategies and our mutual security goals.   With the delivery of these aircraft, skilled Tunisian aviators, ground crews, and maintenance teams have worked side by side with American counterparts to ensure that Tunisia can use these tools to their fullest.  With each helicopter and each shared experience, Tunisia becomes stronger, more capable, and better prepared to meet the challenges of the future.  And in return, the men and women of the armed forces of the United States learn from their experiences with Tunisians.

These helicopters and the cooperation that comes with them are just one facet of our security cooperation.  I can assure you that the United States stands with Tunisia at this critical time, and we are determined to give Tunisia the tools and assistance necessary to ensure your long term security.

I am grateful for our partnership with Tunisia and its armed forces, and let me once again thank you Minister Horchani and the other officials of the Tunisian Air Force and Ministry of Defense for your continued cooperation and commitment to our shared goals and values.  I am also grateful to all the brave men and women of the Tunisian Armed Forces who on this day, and every day, are courageously defending Tunisia and its democracy.