The Blue Helmets of the Italian contingent in Lebanon participated in the Steel Storm 2023, a joint and multinational exercise which from 18 to 22 September involved the maneuver units of the military contingents of UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
The exercise takes place every six months in a range not far from Naqoura, headquarters of the UNIFIL mission command.
Shooting lessons with individual and unit weapons and joint fire activities were held between the units of the Joint Task Force Land - Sector West and the 5th LAF Brigade.
The activity was aimed at perfecting the level of interoperability between the peacekeepers of the UN and the LAF soldiers, in view of an increasingly greater, effective and autonomous intervention capacity of the latter in Southern Lebanon.
For the West sector of UNIFIL, the ITALBATT assets participated on a 1st regiment basis Granaders of Sardinia and of the regiment's squadron group Montebello Lancer (8th), together with maneuver units of the South Korean, Irish and Malaysian contingents, all under the Italian command of the sector.
Around 50 Italian soldiers deployed on the range and numerous weapons, weapon systems and vehicles used by the Italian Army, such as the VTLM "Lince" and the Blindo "Centauro", which fired 105 mm NATO projectiles, including the APFSDS-T (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot -Tracer), with a range of approximately 2 kilometers.
The final phases of the exercise were witnessed by the vice commander of UNIFIL, brigadier general Chok Bahadur Dhakal and the commander of the western sector, brigadier general Giovanni Brafa Musicoro.
Support to the LAF, together with monitoring the cessation of hostilities and assistance to the Lebanese population, is one of the main tasks assigned to the Italian UNIFIL contingent in compliance with UN Security Council resolution 1701.