The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) conducted a joint exercise combining armoured assets, machine gun and small arms live fire in an area one kilometre south of the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura, southern Lebanon, last week.
The four-day multinational exercise, named “Steel Storm” and organized from 6 to 9 February, sought to enhance cooperation and interoperability between the LAF and UNIFIL troops. During the exercise, 110 vehicles were used and ammunitions were fired. The targets were located at sea in order to minimize disturbance to the population. Lebanese Navy ships, supported by UNIFIL Maritime Task Force, ensured safety at sea.
The execution of the exercise was led by UNIFIL’s French-led Force Commander’s Reserve (FCR), with participation of peacekeepers from 13 of UNIFIL’s 41 troop contributing countries.
The VIP Day on 8 February saw the participation of senior UNIFIL leadership including Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary and senior LAF officials.
The “Steel Storm” exercise, which represents an impressive display of firepower from UNIFIL peacekeepers and LAF soldiers, is conducted in regularly. It strives to improve the skills and expertise of the two forces, maintain their efficiency and mutual knowledge, train on the procedures of execution of fire support, establish the appropriate coordination mechanism and liaise at all levels between LAF and UNIFIL.