By Zhao Wenhuan and Ding Wendong
BEIRUT, Feb. 8 -- The 19th Chinese peacekeeping multi-functional engineer contingent to Lebanon, who has been under long-term high pressure for performing high-risk mine sweeping and Blue Line maintenance tasks, conducted a comprehensive live-fire drill on February 6.
During the drill, emergencies such as airstrikes by fighter jets, attacks on camp gates by unidentified personnel, fire outbreak in the camp, and emergency evacuation occurred one after another without any notification in advance, some of which were even set up for the first time.
"Although some emergencies were encountered for the first time, the peacekeepers were still able to deal with them properly with quick and efficient response," said Gao Jie, the staff officer for on-site guidance. He remarked that the Chinese contingent had normalized various combat readiness exercises to ensure all the peacekeepers are fully prepared for war at all time.
According to Du Jia, commander of the 19th Chinese peacekeeping multi-functional engineer contingent to Lebanon, since they were deployed to the mission area last August, the COVID-19 pandemic has kept spreading and the gunshots and artillery often blasted around the camp. With unidentified fighter jets hovering over the sky and stray bullets flying into the camp from time to time, the security environment became increasingly severe.
In response, the contingent analyzed the local situation and timely communicated with competent departments of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Command. They also organized at least three times of drills every week, involving the emergency defense, fire fighting and medical rescue, and conducted the activities for combat readiness day once every month. Through such constant drills, they have gained a deeper understanding of the operation strategies and improved the capability to deal with emergencies.