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State Dept. approves $200M military support for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia asked the United States for military technical support services.

By Richard Tomkins
State Dept. approves $200M military support for Saudi Arabia
The U.S. State Dept. has approved the possible $200 million sale of military support and technical services to Saudi Arabia. Pictured, Col. Albert J. Ricci Sr., commander of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB), speaks to Maj. Gen. Prince Fahad bin Turki Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Royal Saudi Land Forces, during a practice air assault during Exercise Friendship and Iron Hawk 14 on April 10, 2014, near Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. N.Y. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Harley Jelis

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A Saudi Arabian request for continued technical training and other support services from the U.S. military has received State Department approval.

The services would be performed by the U.S. Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia, or USMTM, the Security Cooperation Organization responsible for identifying, planning, and executing U.S. Security Cooperation training and advisory support for the Saudi Arabia.

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The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which manages the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, notified Congress the value of the contract is about $200 million.

"Sustaining the USMTM supports Saudi Arabia in deterring hostile action and increases U.S. - Saudi Arabia military interoperability," it said.

Implementation of the deal would require the permanent or temporary assignment of as many as 202 case-funded U.S. government or contractor personnel to Saudi Arabia.

DSCA did not elaborate on the exact services to be provided to Saudi Arabia.ncy

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