Friday 20 January 2017

Ambush training for Defence Forces as 190 troops prepare for six months in Lebanon

Jane O'Faherty

Published 20/04/2016 | 02:30

Guns, camouflage and anti-ambush training were the focus for the Defences Forces as 190 soldiers put in the final preparations for an imminent mission to Lebanon.

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The soldiers will wave goodbye to their families over the coming weeks, as they make their way to the Middle East for a six-month peacekeeping stint.

The mission, under the umbrella of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), will see the troops contribute to peace and security and patrol the Blue Line that separates Israel and Lebanon.

They will also be helping to ensure there is humanitarian access to the civilian population in the area.

A spokesman for the Defence Forces told the Irish Independent that while there were always dangers associated with missions abroad, their training meant the troops were capable of dealing with any issues.

"There are inherent dangers in every mission and we recognise there are risks but we overcome those in training, with scenarios that are realistic," he said.

Troops from the 53rd Infantry UNIFIL Group train at The Glen of Imaal yesterday. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Troops from the 53rd Infantry UNIFIL Group train at The Glen of Imaal yesterday. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Cpl. Shendah Moran, pictured at The 53rd Infantry UNIFIL Group Pre Deployment Mission Readiness Exercises at The Glen of Imaal prior to their departure to The Lebanon. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Of the troops set to be deployed, Cork represents the highest number at 41, followed by Kilkenny at 31 and Dublin at 20.

Nine of the 190 are women - a number the army is looking at increasing significantly with its latest recruitment drive.

Irish Independent

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