UNIFIL-LAF live firing exercise one of nearly 700 joint trainings
As UNIFIL peacekeepers and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) personnel enhance coordination and partnership between them in south Lebanon, the two forces this week are carrying out a joint live fire exercise in an area about one kilometre south of the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura.
The joint exercise is part of an ongoing 5-day “Steel Storm” drill with the LAF from 17 to 21 September, involving armoured assets, machine gun and small arms live fire. Such exercises are conducted regularly between the two forces.
Joint exercises with and training for LAF personnel constitute a core element of UNIFIL’s mandate. In the year between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018 alone, a total of 696 such joint activities were conducted both on land and sea.
Throughout this week’s exercise, LAF troops were joined by UNIFIL peacekeepers from Force Commander’s Reserve (Finland and France), Sector West (Finland, Ghana, Italy, Ireland, the Republic of Korea and Malaysia) and Sector East (India, Indonesia, Nepal and Spain).
Live fire exercises are conducted regularly between the LAF and UNIFIL with the aim of honing the skills and expertise of the military units, maintaining their efficiency and mutual knowledge as well as strengthening the existing coordination mechanism between LAF and UNIFIL.
As was the case with previous exercises, during the latest round of the “Steel Storm” training, limiting any potential disturbance to the local population was a priority. Lebanese Navy ships supported by the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force ensured safety at sea.
The UN Security Council resolution 2433, adopted on 30 August renewing the Mission’s mandate for another year, has called for further enhancement of coordinated activities between them.
Article: Tilak Pokharel