By Zhang Guijie and Meng Zhuolin
BEIRUT, Sept. 25 (ChinaMil) -- Chinese peacekeepers in Lebanon participated in a joint multinational exercise, code-named “Steel Storm 2018”, held in the town of Naqoura in southern Lebanon on the night of September 20. For its excellent performance, the Chinese peacekeeping force won high praise from the Command Center of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Headquarters and from the allied forces.
Under the immediate supervision of the UNIFIL Headquarters’ Command Center, “Steel Storm” is a joint multinational exercise conducted at the largest scale and highest level with the widest influence within the UNIFIL’s mission area.
The exercise has been held twice every year since 2012, so as to further optimize the relationship within the operational command of UNIFIL and to establish a cooperative and mutual assistance mechanism for peacekeeping forces from troop-contributing countries (TCCs), as well as to strengthen communication and exchange with government forces in Lebanon.
The exercise lasted for five days from September 17 to September 21. Sixteen troop-contributing countries, including China, France, Italy, Finland, and Indonesia, along with the government forces in Lebanon, participated in as well as observed the exercise.
The joint patrol forces of the UNIFIL and the government forces in Lebanon simulated a response to an “attack” by a maritime terrorist organization on Beach Road in Naqoura on the evening of September 20. The UNIFIL Headquarters’ Command Center organized the forces of the various troop-contributing countries to provide reinforcements.
The Chinese peacekeepers were incorporated into the land support forces of the western flank. The Chinese combat detachment, composed of 70 members from the multifunctional engineer detachment and the construction engineer detachment, was designated by the Command Center to rapidly enter the “fighting area” upon receiving orders, with 8 vehicles including armored infantry vehicles and medical ambulances, and 62 small arms including pistols and light machine guns.
In addition to land forces, the Navy of the Lebanon’s government forces and UNIFIL heliambulances also participated in the exercise.
During the exercise, the Chinese peacekeepers demonstrated their strict organization and commanding ability as well as skilled tactical movements. The Chinese peacekeepers received high praise from a leader of the Training Department of the UNIFIL Headquarters: “The Chinese peacekeeping troops conducted the exercise at night according to the plan formulated by UNIFIL Headquarters, which required preconsideration of various dangerous conditions, with great challenges. However, the Chinese peacekeepers fulfilled their tasks with excellence. I look forward to your even more excellent performance in the next exercise.”