A battalion of the Artillery Corps held a drill this week simulating a response
to attacks on the Golan Heights from Syria.
During the drill, a new
version of a classified military mapping system which allows the corps to map
out its forces and the position of the enemy – was used.
“It helps us
fire in a more effective manner,” Lt.-Col. Maxim Levi, commander of the
Namer (“Leopard”) Artillery Battalion – a part of the Golan Artillery Regiment
based in the North – told The Jerusalem Post. Levi could not reveal any further
details about the system.
The drill began a few hours after the Yom
Kippur fast, when soldiers, who were on home leave, were scrambled to the Golan
Heights. The entire battalion, whose members were bused to the North, arrived at
artillery cannons and began firing within a few hours of the call-up, Levi
“We wanted to see how quick it would take,” he
“The drill saw us move across the whole Golan. We then moved
to the Galilee, moving dozens of armored fighting vehicles over more than 50
kilometers for the second part of drill,” he added.
The second phase was
designed to test the battalion’s readiness to deploy near Lebanon soon after
dealing with a Syrian threat. Such training is designed to ensure flexibility in
the face of unexpected difficulties.
Levi said that his forces were
assisted by drones transmitting images of the mock targets. The Sky Rider
drones, operated by a special Artillery Corps unit, inform gunners whether they
hit their targets accurately. Where they miss, the gunners fire again until they
strike the targets.
“It was very difficult for the soldiers. They faced
uncertain conditions, and carried out intense physical tasks, a few hours after
completing their fast,” he said. “We instill a can-do attitude in
them. There’s a will here to carry out the mission whatever the
Based near Syria, the Namer Battalion is never far from
the sounds of the brutal civil war.
“We’re hearing blasts from over the
border all of the time, every day,” Levi confirmed.
“We bring soldiers to
lookout positions so they can see the real picture, and not just see it on the
news. They see how the regime shells its own villages. It gives them a
sense of the arena.”
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