Changing the guard at the Shama Millevoi military base, in southern Lebanon, where the Alpine Taurinense Brigade took over the leadership of the Western Sector of UNIFIL, succeeding the Friuli Aircraft Brigade. The newly formed command count on the support of French units, in the context of a strengthened synergy between Italy and France. The mission, which is coordinated by Italy from 2007 and participated by 13 nations, undertake the effort of 3.000 peacekeepers.
UNIFIL is essential for the security and socio-economic stability of the country, and earn great favor among local community. The ceremony of succession between the General Salvatore Cuoci, and the incoming General Franco Federici, was attended by the Commander of the Operational Interforce Command (COI), the Army General Corps Marco Bertolini, who contributed to the consolidation of relationships between UNIFIL and Lebanese people, and the UNIFIL Force Commander, Major General Luciano Portolano, who on july 2014 assumed command as Force Commander and Head of UNIFIL, but not only. Present at the event, the political and religious authorities, military personnel, as well as delegations of different nationalities present in UNIFIL.
During the ceremony of ritual greetings, the mayors of Tyre and Tibnin, two municipalities of the Western Sector, expressed their thanks to the Italian military delivering to General Cuoci the keys of respective cities, a symbolic gesture as a sign of gratitude for the work done and a confirm of the trust patiently conquered. During the previous six months of operations, our soldiers have carried out numerous projects in favor of the local population, such as the construction and maintenance of roads, schools, lighting installations. Also the initiatives against poverty are very important, both in terms of supply of food and development of business activities, both in terms of attention to education, gender diversity and social cohesion.
These include the recent construction of a soccer field in the province of Tyre to Qana. Training activities addressed to militias and local institutions remain priorities: the international seminar “Analysis of operational capacity, human resources and capacity of responses in case of natural disaster and humanitarian crisis”, organized by the Italian contingent of the UNIFIL ITALBATT task Force, has just ended in Al Mansouri. It has been attended by the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the Internal Security Forces (ISF) and other civil defense organizations. The training workshops aimed to educate local forces in managing humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.