LAF and UNIFIL conduct live firing exercise
Thursday, 08 September 2011 - The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today carried out a joint exercise combining artillery and machine gun live fire in an area one kilometre south of UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura, southern Lebanon.
The exercise, named "Neptune Thunder", was led by the UNIFIL Force Commander Reserve (FCR/French) and LAF 5th Brigade elements. The live firing was also conducted by UNIFIL specialized units from the Spanish Cavalry Squadron constituting the Sector East Mobile Reserve, Irish battalion and Indonesian Force Protection Company.
Participating in this periodic exercise for the first time was UNIFIL FCR's new French "Caesar" artillery gun, the 155mm truck-mounted weapon system that replaced the heavy tracked version last January with the aim of enhancing mobility and quick-reaction capability of the FCR while minimizing disturbance to the population or damage to roads and other infrastructure.
The exercise is directed at improving the skills and expertise of the battle groups, to maintain their efficiency and mutual knowledge. It involved a dynamic presentation of the two forces' respective artillery and armoured assets, whereby dozens of artillery shells and machine gun rounds were fired at targets located off the coastline.
In today's exercise, 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.