Canada creates strong bond with the Lebanese Armed Forces through civil-military cooperation training
By Warrant Officer Edwin Pinaroc, Peace Support Training Centre (PSTC)
BEIRUT – The Canadian Training Assistance Team – Lebanon (CTAT-L) was recognized for the successful development and delivery of an intermediate Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) course for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
A Technical Assistance Visit (TAV) team comprised of four qualified CIMIC operators and one Training Development Officer was deployed to Lebanon to analyse job requirements, design course materials, and instruct over a five-month period. The course enhances the LAF’s existing CIMIC capabilities, and provides soldiers with a greater understanding of this critical capability employed throughout the country.
The LAF has developed a network of regional CIMIC centres to collaborate with the country’s diverse population, and to strengthen relations between the military and civilian actors such as the Red Cross, religious institutions, the private sector, and development agencies.
This two week course, jointly developed by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and LAF, focuses on how CIMIC operators can assess civilian needs, identify gaps, and gather knowledge through research and interviews in order to draft project proposals to address those needs.
Following course development, the TAV conducted a pilot for 20 LAF candidates. Students from the CIMIC Regional Sections and CIMIC Directorate attended the training at the LAF CIMIC Directorate in Beirut. Interactive lectures, practical scenarios, and role playing with simulated civilian and military actors all contributed to a successful course. Students were given opportunities to practice key roles, knowledge, skills and responsibilities during the exercises that simulated real-life scenarios.
“I feel extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of this mission. We were lucky to be embedded with the LAF CIMIC Directorate, as it allowed us to develop strong bonds and friendships with LAF personnel. Knowing that the LAF is on operations every day, I am so proud of the work that we accomplished. The LAF now has a robust course that prepares its CIMIC Operators for the challenges they will face on the job. It was truly an honour to work with such a group of motivated and dedicated individuals, and to contribute to improving another country’s military forces,” said Lieutenant-Commander Julie Desroches, CIMIC TAV Team Leader and Training Development Officer.
CIMIC is the coordination and cooperation between the commanders and civilian actors, including the national population and local authorities, as well as international, national and non-governmental organizations and agencies.
The LAF initiated its CIMIC in 2010 in order to enhance cooperation and coordination with various civilian actors in support of its primary mission of defending Lebanon and protecting its interests.
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