Now Mechanized Infantry moves to ME hot spot



By Shamindra Ferdinando


SLA’s Mechanized Infantry Regiment, established during the Eelam War IV, will shortly get an opportunity to serve with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) at one the world’s hot spots.


The Mechanized Infantry would contribute eight officers and 91 men to the 150-member contingent earmarked for deployment in Southern Lebanon. Military sources told The Island that this was the second major overseas mission undertaken by Sri Lanka, the first being the Haiti deployment. The mission under UN command in the Caribbean involves about 1,000 officers and men.


Sources said that the Lebanon mission would give the SLA a chance to operate in a truly dicey environment.


Following the July/Aug. 2006 war, the UN increased the UNIFIL strength from about 2,000 to 15,000. The force includes a maritime task force, with France, Italy and Spain moving troops by September 15, 2006 in support of contingents of Indian and Ghanaian troops.


The Lebanon bound Mechanized Infantry troops would be joined by Special Forces, Commandos, Snipers, Signalmen, Military Police, Engineers, Medical Corps, Engineer Services Regiment, Ordnance Corps and General Service Corps.


The Sri Lankan contingent will be commanded by Lieut. Col. H. M. S. Herath of the Mechanized Infantry Regiment.


The former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka raised the Mechanized Infantry Regiment in support of the forces fighting on the Vanni front.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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