Early morning patrol followed by Christmas dinner for soldiers in Lebanon

Christmas 2011 was viewed from a different perspective for the troops of the 105 Infantry Battalion this year. The 105 Infantry Battalion maintained its intense programme of patrols and security duties through out the festive period.

Christmas 2011 was viewed from a different perspective for the troops of the 105 Infantry Battalion this year. The 105 Infantry Battalion maintained its intense programme of patrols and security duties through out the festive period.

The cooks of the 105 Infantry Battalion worked feverishly from the early hours of Christmas morning to prepare what was a Christmas dinner of note for over 400 troops. The troops of the 105 Infantry Battalion went about the business of preparing weapons, equipment and Mowag Piranha III Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) for several patrols into the Irish Battalion Area of Operations (AO).

It is a sobering moment for any soldier in South Lebanon when on Christmas morning he/she draws their personnel weapon from stores to go on patrol at 0630, a time where they may normally be exchanging gifts under the Christmas tree with loved ones at home. As the Christmas morning patrols depart Camp Shamrock with the threat from roadside bombs or rocket attacks ever present, even on this of holy days.

For the two Irish Platoons serving on the Blue Line in UN Post 6-50 and UN Post 6-52 after contacting home to loved ones dinner was their next highlight of the day as they returned from their patrol duties along the Blue Line. The troops on the Blue Line positions received mass from Reverend Father Tom Brady after which they enjoyed their well earned Christmas dinner. The troops on UN Post 6-52 who enjoyed this small respite were saved little time to allow their Christmas dinner settle as they were called out to an incident along the Blue Line.

In Camp Shamrock, UN Post 6-5 home of the Irish troops in South Lebanon the troops rotated through dinner at different timings allowing the patrol schedule to be maintained without interruption. Christmas dinner had all the fanfare of a traditional Christmas with Turkey, Ham, Brussell sprouts and of course Christmas pudding. Lt Col Philip Brennan addressed the troops of the 105 Infantry Battalion wishing all the troops and our loved ones at home, “the real soldiers” a Happy Christmas and a safe New Year.