“Julia”/MLF Alpine Brigade hand over leadership of Sector West of UNIFIL mission in Lebanon to “Garibaldi” Brigade.
“All together for a common target: the stability and safety in the south of Lebanon”
The transfer of authority of the Italian Contingent between “Julia”/MLF Alpine Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General Paolo Fabbri, and “Garibaldi” Bersaglieri Brigade, under the command of Brigadier General Diodato Abagnara, took place in Shama, at UNIFIL Sector West Headquarters.
“Julia” Brigade was deployed for the first time in Lebanon as Multinational Land Force under Defence Cooperation Initiative (DECI) configuration, namely on a multinational basis, with soldiers from Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary.
The Ceremony, in the presence of UNIFIL Commander and Head of Mission, Major General Stefano Del Col, was also attended by Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, Italian Joint Operations Headquarters Commander, together with the highest civilian, religious and military Lebanese authorities.
During his speech, General Del Col thanked “the Alpines of Julia for their work during the last six months, in particular for the strong network of relations with civilian and military authorities and with the Lebanese population. Their presence here today is the full currency of affection and close relationship created”.
“Julia”/MLF Alpine Brigade conducted several activities during the mission, primarily in support of the local population by carrying out construction work together with Lebanese civilian and military authorities, as determined by 1701 and 2373 resolutions. These activities were performed in addition to the main tasks provided for UNIFIL Blue Helmets, which are the monitoring and the control of the cease-fire, the support to the Lebanese Armed Forces in the conduct of control activities in the south of the Country, and the assistance to the local population with CIMIC projects.
In his farewell speech, General Fabbri stated “Italy is always committed with Lebanon and particularly with its communities” and he stressed that “the relations established by the Italian Contingent with local civilian, military and religious authorities are strong, solid and deep”.
“Garibaldi” Brigade assumes for the third time the responsibility of the Sector West, multinational command with 3700 soldiers (about 1000 Italians), 8 years later from its last commitment in Lebanon.
General Abagnara pointed out “Garibaldi Brigade, following on the tradition of the other Italian Units, will work at best in order to guarantee the stability in an area where the presence of Blue Helmets is synonymous with impartiality, transparency and convergence. All together for a common target: the stability and safety in the south of Lebanon and, by extension, in the whole Middle Eastern region.