16 Aug 2019
As part of UNIFIL’s ongoing cooperation with its strategic partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the Mission’s Sector East peacekeepers have recently conducted a series of joint trainings with LAF personnel in honing their marksmanship skills.
UNIFIL peacekeepers from India, Indonesia, Nepal and Spain took part in the latest training exercise with 36 LAF personnel in a UNIFIL base of Indian peacekeepers in Ibl Saqi, south-eastern Lebanon, last week. Similar weeklong training was conducted earlier in May.
In the process, the participants were trained in fieldcraft skills, target detection, range estimation, terrain utilization as well as sniper tactics and advanced marksmanship.
At the end of last week’s training, a UNIFIL trainer from India, Major Mahendra Pratap, said it was “very, very important” to share experiences, the platform, drills and procedures.
“During these five days, we have tried to teach them the fieldcraft, battlecraft, target acquisition, sniper tactics and advance marksmanship training,” he said.
First Lieutenant Ahmad Omar of the LAF said the training sought to raise the level of combat efficiency as well as the level of technical and tactical efficiency, “starting with the individual combatant and all the way to the military unit as a whole.”
UNIFIL’s long-term objective is to gradually transfer responsibilities to the LAF so that it assumes full and effective security control over UNIFIL’s 1,060 square kilometre area of operations and the Lebanese territorial waters. To this end, UNIFIL has been conducting regular joint training and exercises with LAF both on land and at sea.
In the first six months of this year, UNIFIL peacekeepers conducted 342 such training exercises with the goal to enhance Lebanese Army capability.