A Historic Military Endeavor
In a historic display of collaboration, more than 65 military personnel from the British Army’s Second Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), are poised to participate in a fully integrated combined military exercise called ‘Pegasus Cedar.’ This groundbreaking endeavor will not only unite them with their Lebanese counterparts, the Air Assault Regiment, but it will also receive support from the Lebanese Air Force.
Uniting Forces for a Decade of Training
Commencing today, Exercise Pegasus Cedar marks a pivotal moment in UK-Lebanese military cooperation, signifying the largest and first-of-its-kind initiative in recent memory. Moreover, this comprehensive exercise is scheduled to unfold over the course of ten days.
Tactical Skills and Collaboration
During this extensive training exercise, British and Lebanese troops will hone their tactical skills, covering essential areas such as Weapons Handling, Range Shoots, Reconnaissance, and Close Quarters Battle.
Troops will also engage in joint exercises with the Lebanese Air Force, including air support serials and helicopter insertion and extraction techniques.
The exercise will reach its climax with two Field Training Exercises, ultimately testing and enhancing the capabilities of both nations’ troops in a challenging environment.
Additionally, the exercise’s name, ‘Pegasus Cedar,’ holds symbolism that reflects the depth of the partnership. Notably, Pegasus is the emblem of the British Army Air Assault Brigade, depicting a white-winged stallion from Greek mythology, ridden by Bellerophon. Similarly, the Cedar tree symbolizes Lebanon and features prominently in its flag and the insignia of the Lebanese Armed Forces.
Strong Words of Partnership
The British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hamish Cowell, expressed the significance of Exercise Pegasus Cedar, stating,
“It is the first time in recent memory to involve British troops exercising jointly with their Lebanese counterparts on Lebanese soil.”
He underlined the enduring partnership between the UK and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), emphasizing the UK’s support through equipment, training, and infrastructure.
“Exercise Pegasus Cedar will further cement this strong partnership and reinforce the deep ties between our two countries.”
Strengthening Bonds Through Training
The British Defence Attaché, Lt. Col Lee Saunders, added his perspective, saying,
“I am proud to see troops from the UK’s 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment sharing skills and experiences with LAF’s Air Assault Regiment and Air Force for the first joint military exercise.
The title of the exercise pays homage to Lebanon’s eternal cedar tree, whilst Pegasus is the emblem of the British Army’s Air Assault Brigade, which depicts a white-winged stallion from Greek mythology.”
Mutual Growth Through Partnership
Commander of the 16 Air Assault Brigade said,
“Exercise Pegasus Cedar is a fantastic opportunity for our soldiers to train with and learn from our Lebanese Air Assault Regiment (LAAR) counterparts. Although it is not our first time in Lebanon, it is the first time we have trained at this scale alongside the LAAR.
Our two Regiments have a close relationship, and this exercise is the product of several years of partnership. A partnership that is now delivering fantastic training opportunities for us both.”
The Second Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA), is a key component within the Parachute Regiment, which is a unit of the British Army. Furthermore, it operates as a subordinate unit within the 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team, based in Colchester.
Moreover, this high-readiness Brigade possesses the capability to deploy worldwide at short notice for a wide range of missions, which can range from non-combatant evacuation operations to full-scale warfare.