UNIFIL Korean peacekeepers and LAF soldiers in joint combat training
On their UN base situated on the outskirts of the port city of Tyre, UNIFIL peacekeepers from the Republic of Korea (ROK) warm up with soldiers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) before they begin the physically demanding training session.
The peacekeepers leading this week-long joint training are from the Korean military special forces unit. They are sharing close quarter combat methods and have incorporated Taekwondo (Korean martial arts) techniques into the training to increase the agility and reflexes of the participants.
The UNIFIL ROK battalion (or ROKBATT as it is commonly called) first deployed to south Lebanon in July 2007. At present there are 331 Korean peacekeepers on active duty in the mission and 22 of them are women. In addition to daily military operations such as patrolling and monitoring the cessation of hostilities, ROKBATT conducts close to 70 joint activities with LAF each month. ROKBATT soldiers also extend their specialist skills to the local communities through activities such as building roads and medical support and over 100,000 residents have availed of their medical service since 2007.
In 2006 the United Nations Security Council issued Resolution 1701 to foster peace and stability in south Lebanon. One of the key aspects of this resolution is that UNIFIL supports the operations of the Lebanese Armed Forces in south Lebanon. The capacity of both the LAF and the UNIFIL peacekeepers is enhanced through joint training such as this.