For the first time in history, The Indian Army has commanded a foreign army contingent during the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission. A company of Kazakhstan Army has been co-deployed with 11 JAT Infantry Battalion of the Indian Army in Lebanon. The 11 JAT Infantry Battalion received the Kazakh company which arrived at Rafik Hariri International Airport at Beirut. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Kazakhstan’s Minister of Defence Nurlan Yermekbayev flagged off the ceremony of the Kazakhstan contingent which will join the Indian Army battalion in the UN Peacekeeping mission. Troop reinforcement will also be routed through India.
According to reports, there are about 120 Kazak troops out of 900 troops deployed in the region. A total of 30 Kazak soldiers will be part of Battalion Headquarters to take decisions on the operational and administrative issues. The Kazak Company is commanded by Major Ayan Nurkassov, whereas Colonel Jeevan B is Commanding Officer of the 11 JAT. He is also the overall commander of the unit located in Marjayoun area.
The Indian Unit in Lebanon is deployed in about 40 kilometres out of the total 121 kilometres of the Blue Line demarcating the border between Lebanon and Israel. Indian and Kazakhstan share a strong defence ties. Kazakhstan defence personnel generally undergo training at various Indian army institutes including Indian Military Academy and Officers Training Academies.
If we talk about India’s contribution in the UN peacekeeping missions, so far the country has taken part in 43 peacekeeping missions, and close to 2 lakh Indian soldiers participated in them. The country is sending its soldiers in peacekeeping missions since 1950. Currently, India soldiers are serving in 13 missions out of 16. During the Defence Expo held in Chennai in April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also lauded India’s contribution in UN peacekeeping missions.