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Lebanon Brigade XXXVII takes over command of 'Libre Hidalgo' operation

May 30, 2022
  • The contingent is mostly made up from the Army’s 10th Brigade 'Guzmán el Bueno', based at the Cerro Muriano Base (Córdoba)

The transfer of authority ceremony between the Spanish contingents of the XXXVI and XXXVII Lebanon Brigade (BRILIB) took place at the 'Miguel de Cervantes' Base, near the town of Marjayoun (Lebanon), this morning. This event completed the change in command of the East Sector of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Brigadier General Ramón Armada Vázquez handed over 'Libre Hidalgo' Operation’s guidon to Brigadier General Ignacio Olazabal Elorz, symbolising the transfer of responsibility in the fulfillment of the mission that the BRILIB XXXVII contingent will assume during the next six months.

The ceremony was chaired by the Head of Mission and Commander of the UNIFIL Force, Spanish Major General Aroldo Lázaro Sáez, and was attended by the Spanish Ambassador to Lebanon, Jose María Ferré de la Peña, and other Lebanese civil, religious and military authorities.

During his speech, General Olazábal highlighted that the demanding training of the contingent, along with the experience of the 10th Brigade 'Guzmán el Bueno' X in the UNIFIL mission, are the assurance for carrying out the mission with rigor, neutrality and impartiality. Likewise, knowledge of the human factor in Southern Lebanon will allow for acting with conviction, respect and empathy towards the Lebanese people, who are the subject to the sovereignty of the area where we deploy. Finally, the new head of the East Sector pointed out his full alignment with the Head of Mission and Commander of the Force, putting himself at his disposal to achieve the fulfilment of the mission above all else.

This will be the sixth time that the X Brigade 'Guzmán el Bueno' has deployed in Lebanese lands to comply with United Nations resolution 1701 and whose main mandate is to monitor the cessation of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel, support the restoration of peace and authority of the Lebanese government in the south of the country and collaborate with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in maintaining disarmament in the area and respect for the Blue Line that establishes the ceasefire line. Among its main missions, the Cordovan contingent will establish observatories, carry out foot and vehicle patrols and carry out joint activities with the LAF.

The Spanish Armed Forces deployed for the first time in the South of Lebanon to make up the United Nations Provisional Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), in September 2006; the Brigade 'Guzmán el Bueno' X did so in September 2009. With their presence and assumption of responsibility, the Spanish Armed Forces show, on the one hand, Spain's commitment to the mission and international security and, on the other, the confidence of the United Nations in the Spanish military.