MTF carries out “Boarding” exercise with LAF Navy
UNIFIL’s Maritime Task Force (MTF) recently carried out an exercise off the coast of Jounieh, north of Beirut, together with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Navy in order to enhance the cooperation and coordination between the two forces.
The “Boarding” exercise, conducted onboard the UNIFIL flagship, Frigate “Independência,” also involved speed boats.
UNIFIL’s Military Chief of Staff Brigadier General Christian Thiébault and MTF Commander Rear Admiral Eduardo Machado Vazquez observed the 27 March exercise, which also sought to build the capacity of the LAF Navy in carrying out maritime operations.
Brig. Gen. Thiébault also spent the night in the ship in order to see first-hand the daily life of UNIFIL’s naval peacekeepers. He also observed closely how the tasks of the MTF vessels are carried out to keep the 17,171-square kilometre Area of Maritime Operation safe and stable.
Established in October 2006 at the request of the Government of Lebanon, UNIFIL MTF currently has about 770 personnel and six ships: one each from Bangladesh, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Indonesia and Turkey. The Brazilian Navy has been in the command of the MTF since 2011. Since 2006, UNIFIL’s MTF has hailed about 86,000 ships, of which about 12,000 were referred to the LAF Navy for inspection.
UNIFIL MTF supports the LAF Navy in preventing the unauthorized entry of arms or related materiel by sea into Lebanon. Its mission also focuses on assisting Lebanon raise its own naval forces to control and protect Lebanon's seaways and territorial waters. In order to achieve that, MTF carries out a range of different training courses and joint exercises with the LAF Navy in order to prepare it to assume all duties required for maritime security, protecting Lebanon's sovereignty and supporting economic investment.