Picture credit: Canada’s Joint Task Force - Impact's Canadian Training Assistance Team in Lebanon (CTAT-L) Facebook page.
(photo credit: CANADIAN ARMED FORCES IN LEBANON)
Canada’s Armed Forces are in Lebanon training troops in basic winter warfare, which will allow them to better protect their borders, according to a Facebook post by Canada’s Joint Task Force – Impact’s Canadian Training Assistance Team in Lebanon (CTAT-L).
The training in the “snowy mountains of Lebanon” is aimed to help the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) improve their basic military capabilities such as patrolling, skiing and mountaineering, tying knots, and ascending and rappelling.
Canada has deployed close to 850 troops to the Middle East as part of Operation IMPACT, which began in 2014 and has since changed from a combat mission against Islamic State terrorists to a mission to train, assist and advise security forces.
A spokesperson for the Canadian government told The Jerusalem Post that Canada has been training and providing the LAF “with a broad range of assistance” since September 2016 in order to deal with the effects of the conflict in neighboring Syria.
“Canada and Lebanon share friendly relations founded on people to people ties. Lebanon’s security, stability, sovereignty are important to Canada and we view the LAF as the sole legitimate defender of Lebanon,” the spokesperson said. “As part of the assistance the CAF has provided military training to the LAF. This is an important contribution to increasing security in the Middle East and most recently CAF members shared their expertise in winter warfare with their Lebanese counterparts who are charged with protected lebanon's snowy and mountainous border region.”
As part of Operation IMPACT, CTAT-L trains LAF forces to secure Lebanon's border with Syria
and also provides cold weather clothing, tool kits for border outposts and combat first-aid training.
The Canadian Armed Force (CAF) “operations in Lebanon are part of Canada’s whole-of- government approach to enhancing the security and capability of the region,” the post read, adding that the their “presence in the Middle East is helping to set the conditions for the long-term success of regional partners, like Lebanon, by enabling their military forces to more effectively secure their borders and plan and execute operations against destabilizing organizations like Daesh [ISIS].”
Canada also provided LAF logistics trucks and snowmobile trailers in late February during the ceremony marking the graduation of LAF troops from the basic winter warfare training, which was attended by Joint Task Force – Impact Commander, Brig.-Gen. Colin Keiver, senior ranking officers of the LAF and Canada’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Emmanuelle Lamoureux.
“It is here that the Canadian Armed Forces have a niche opportunity to help build the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces,” CTAT-L team leader Lt.-Col. David Hill was quoted as saying on another Facebook post, adding that: “As Canadians, we know the cold and it’s something our soldiers are used to operating in. We can share that expertise with Lebanese soldiers who are charged with protecting Lebanon’s snowy and mountainous border region.”
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