The Blue Helmets remember the crew and passengers of the helicopter crashed on the sixth of august 1997.
Twenty years later, not to forget…
the Task Force "Italair", deployed in the municipality of Al Tiri in southern Lebanon, has recently commemorated the soldiers died 20 years ago during a night training flight.
The military and religious ceremony, organized in close cooperation with the Irish Contingent, has been attended by the UNIFIL Force Commander General IRL A Michael Beary, the Sector West Commander Brigadier General Francesco Olla as well as numerous civilian and military Lebanese authorities.
After the military honors and the laying of a laurel wreath beside the monument and the exposition of a commemorative plaque for the 20th anniversary, the Force Commander has expressed his respect for the fallen Peacekeepers which donated their lives for the peace with a great sense of duty.
The dramatic event occurred in the evening of 6th August 1997 when an AB205 military helicopter from the Italian Contingent of "Italair" fell down nearby the village of Al Tir, for a sudden worsening of weather conditions.
Major Antonino Sgrò, Captain Giuseppe Parisi, the 1st Marshal Massimo Gatti, the Carabinieri Lance Corporal Daniel Forner and the Irish Sergeant John Lynch died in that tragic accident.
Founded in 1979, "Italair" is the oldest UNIFIL units and the only joint flight detachment deployed by Italy in an Operational Theatre abroad. With its six AB-12 helicopters, the unit is ready to fly in less than 30 minutes for different kinds of missions in all the Area of Operations and particularly beside the Blue Line, the demarcation border between Lebanon and Israel, according to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.