1,000 paratroopers simulate operation behind enemy lines

“Through parachuting, we can cross borders and gain a huge advantage," senior army spokesman says.

July 25, 2013 23:43
1 minute read.
IDF paratroopers drill

IDF paratroopers drill 370. (photo credit: IDF Spokesman’s Office)

The IDF’s Paratroop Brigade held a nighttime parachuting exercise in the South on Wednesday involving 1,000 soldiers jumping out of Hercules transport planes.

The aim of the exercise was to practice getting paratroopers behind enemy lines in large numbers. After they landed, the soldiers gathered at staging areas and formed attack units, before going on to storm positions.

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Each battalion was ordered to organize itself on the ground within an hour to two hours. The forces then set out on a mock infantry offensive.

“The enemies around us are gathering near our borders,” a senior army spokesman said.

“Through parachuting, we can cross borders and gain a huge advantage. The ability to bring 1,000 combat soldiers to a staging area [behind enemy lines] is unique to parachuting and cannot be replicated in any other way,” the source added.

"We can’t know if we’ll make use of this ability, but we can’t envisage the army without it,” he stated.

Speaking to the soldiers before the exercise, Col. Eliezer Toledano, the brigade’s commander, said, “Many eyes are watching us in this drill: The eyes of the Israeli people, which must know that when Israel decides to, it can send 1,000 combat soldiers deep into enemy territory at a moment’s notice. The eyes of IDF senior command, which knows it needs only mark the spot, and we’ll already be there. And the eyes of our enemies, who will know that any moment, more than 1,000 paratroopers keen for battle could spit fire in their home front.”

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