A new unit of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) formed to serve in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was ceremonially sent off to Lebanon to relieve ESTPLA-22, the previous unit to serve on the mission. ESTPLA-22 is to return to Estonia on Wednesday.
The ceremonial lineup, which took place on Tuesday morning at the Estonian War Museum in Viimsi, sent off to the UNIFIL mission the Estonian contingent ESTCON-6, which will serve in Lebanon through November, military spokespeople in Tallinn said.
ESTCON-6, the sixth EDF contingent to serve on the mission as part of a joint Irish-Finnish battalion, is headed by Capt. Andrei Slabovits. The nearly 40-member contingent conists of the infantry platoon ESTPLA-23, which is based on the 1st group of the Scouts Battalion's B-company and is headed by 2nd Lt. Oliwer Nõvalk. The contingent also includes staff officers and non-commissioned staff officers.
"Lebanon may seem calm compared to many other mission regions, but that calm is deceptive and may disappear any second," Col. Veiko-Vello Palm, commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade, said at the lineup. "When away, do not forget to keep in touch with your family and loved ones; their strong support will help you focus completely on your work as peacekeepers."
A welcome lineup for the ESTCON-5 contingent returning from the UNIFIL peacekeeping mission will take place at the War Musem on Wednesday afternoon, where the returning troops will be welcomed by Palm.
The primary task of the infantry contingent in Southern Lebanon in the western sector of UNIFIL is to carry out patrols in their area of responsibility and man lookout posts near the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel, known as the Blue Line. In addition, members of the EDF will also cooperate with Lebanese Armed Forces and communicate with local repreentatives of state authority and residents to ensure that agreements are adhered to and peace is maintained in Southern Lebanon.
Editor: Aili Vahtla