UN: 10 January 2008 – The Field Artillery Group – part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) – carried out a live fire training exercise today to sharpen its skills.
The exercise, carried out near UNIFIL Headquarters at Naqoura in southern Lebanon, is “directed at honing the skills and expertise of the battle group,” the mission’s Force Commander Major General Claudio Graziano told reporters.
He commended the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) for their participation as observers in today’s activities, saying that their cooperation which included helping ensure security at sea was “of utmost importance for the smooth conduct of the exercise.”
This is the second time UNIFIL has conducted this exercise, with the first being carried out last July.
Planning for today’s exercise – in which the battle group fired 46 artillery rounds at targets off the coastline – prioritized the need to minimize potential disturbances to the local population, Major General Graziano emphasized.
To this end, targets were at sea to limit noise to any inhabited area. The firing position was located between the coastal road and the shoreline to prevent local traffic from being blocked. Additionally, the firing time was kept to a minimal period of just five hours, from 11 am until 4 pm.
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