BRIGADIER General Conor O’Boyle, General Officer Commanding, Defence Forces Training Centre reviewed the 100 plus troops from the Defence Forces Training Centre prior to their peace keeping mission in the Lebanon last Friday.
The troops, who have completed their training for their overseas mission as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), stood to attention as the Army Number One band played a melody of tunes that marked a sense of the occasion.
“This is a very important day for the Defence Forces,” said Brigadier General O’Boyle.
“Lebanon is an old stomping ground for many of you in this company. It is also a place fraught with great danger and we have lost many lives there over the years.
“Not only will it be a big culture change but it can go from peace to war very quickly. You must stay on guard throughout your whole tour of duty.”
The troop’s were then complimented for their enthusiasm towards their up coming tour of duty in the Lebanon which was described as an “extremely dangerous place”.
“What is of paramount importance is that you all stay safe out there,” he added.
“The very best of equipment will be available to you on the ground in the Lebanon. The lessons we have learned there over the years have told us that it can be an extremely dangerous place. I wish you all a safe trip.”
Meanwhile the Defence Forces deployed an advance party of 90 personnel from Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel to Beirut, Lebanon early on Monday morning May 30.
The Advance Party consists of both a security element and logistics personnel including weapons, ammunition and communications experts who will establish the Irish HQ in Tibnin before the main body of Irish troops deploy on the 23rd and 27th of June.
Concurrently, a convoy of 36 Armoured vehicles were on the move along the N7 from Kildare to Ringaskiddy on Monday to be shipped to Lebanon in time for the arrival of the main body.
When fully operational the 440 Defence Forces personnel will form part of the UNIFIL mission operating in South Lebanon including patrolling the ‘Blue Line’ between Lebanon and Israel contributing to peace and security in the region.