Rear Admiral Sergio Fernando de Amaral Chaves Jr. of Brazil assumed that command of UNIFIL’s Maritime Task Force (MTF) from his predecessor, Rear Admiral Claudio Henrique Mello de Almeida, amidst a handover ceremony organized at the Beirut Port today.
Addressing the ceremony, UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary said the MTF – under the leadership of Rear Admiral Mello over the last year – excelled in conducting both Maritime Interdiction Operations and in continuing to train the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Navy.
“The work of UNIFIL’s Maritime Task Force is unique in UN Peacekeeping Operations,” said the UNIFIL head. “The sailors who patrol Lebanese waters under the flag of the UN are pathfinders, who in addition to fulfilling their role as peacekeepers, have also developed a UN Doctrine on Maritime operations and proven to both the Security Council and the international community the benefits that the maritime domain can bring to peacekeeping operations.”
Major General Beary said the UN is grateful to the Brazilian Navy for commanding “this unique and extremely effective task force.”
“I do not take this ongoing support for granted and I would like to thank both the Brazilian government and navy for their continued commitment to UNIFIL,” he added.
Established in October 2006, UNIFIL MTF currently has about 900 personnel and seven ships: two from Bangladesh and one each from Brazil, Germany, Greece, Indonesia and Turkey. The Brazilian Navy has been in the command of the MTF since 2011.