IDF paratroopers held a combat drill in the North in recent days to prepare for the threat of attack from Hezbollah.
The drill saw two Paratroop units, the 101st and 890th battalions, respond to a hostile infiltration of Israel.
Hezbollah has in the past threatened to send highly trained terrorist cells to “invade” parts of the Galilee and try to hold Israeli territory, a threat the IDF is not taking lightly. During the drill, soldiers played Hezbollah combatants, and the paratroopers had to practice the evacuation of wounded soldiers from the battle arena.
Maj. Natan Gamber, who planned the exercise, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that it represented a new phase in training for units serving under the command of the 769th Regional Brigade, which maintains security in the upper Galilee and the Hard Dov region.
“We want to prepare all of the forces in the brigade’s sector for all possible scenarios,” said Gamber, who is an Operations Branch officer in the brigade.
The IDF views such training as vital to keeping combat units prepared for war. Enlisted units now undertake lengthier border security activities, due to the temporary absence of reserve forces, who have not been called up in recent months because of defense budget cuts.
This has prompted the regional brigades to hold intense, short training exercises that are informed by the latest threats.
“This serves us in the daily brigade missions, and it assists the [Paratroop] battalions in building up their capabilities,” Gamber added.
The drill saw the two units begin a combat simulation in the Galilee’s Ramim Ridge and end up in Har Dov.
Surprise developments were built into the exercises, forcing the units to change direction and engage “the enemy” in a variety of ways.
“These are the threats we believe they will have to confront at the moment of truth,” Gamber said.
“Our goal is to seize the territory,” he added.
Both battalions completed their drills in two days.
Aside from the training, Gamber said the northern border remained stable, though highly sensitive.
“Our role is to be ready at all times. And this is the message we send to the commanders of the units in our brigade,” he said.