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Belgium to assume command of UNIFIL’s maritime task force

The United Nations has accepted Belgium’s offer to assume command of the maritime task force of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

A commanding officer and staff will fulfil this assignment  from on board a frigate that will serve as its command platform from 1 March to 31 May 2009 inclusive. A helicopter will be available on board the frigate throughout this entire period.

The commanding officer will be the pilot Captain Thierry Pynoo, who for the duration of his assignment will have the rank of admiral of the fleet.

The frigate Leopold I, which already took part in the UNIFIL operation in 2008, will leave Zeebrugge for Lebanon on 16 February 2009 with a staff of 23, comprising Belgian and foreign officers and non-commissioned officers. Command of the task force is due to be handed over at the end of February 2009. The frigate, which has a crew of 144 men and women,  will be under the command of Captain Jean-Marc Claus.

For more information about UNIFIL you are referred to the United Nations website.