IDF reserve soldiers 521.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Amid reports that the IDF is set to slash its training programs for reserve
soldiers due to budgetary constraints, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz
gave a closed-door briefing to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee on Tuesday, in which he discussed the effects of the coming NIS 3
billion cut in the defense budget.
During his briefing, Gantz stressed
that despite the extensive budget cut, the IDF must provide complex security
solutions in a quickly-changing region, and at the same time, continue with its
long-term force building program.
During the meeting, reports surfaced
suggesting cuts to reserves training and air defense battery
Army Radio reported the IDF is considering a cancellation of
the majority of its reserves training program from now until the end of the
year, and lowering the production rate of the Iron Dome anti-rocket
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Dannon said reserves programs,
training, and the purchasing of defense platforms would all likely be affected
by the cut.
Addressing the budget cut, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon
said the coming 18 months would be tough.
“We must operate under
budgetary constraints, due to the deficit that grew in recent years,” he said.
“As I’ve said in the past, the Defense Ministry and the IDF will have to take
part in bearing the economic burden... some of the implications will begin to be
apparent to the public in terms of ending certain training programs, and fewer
reserve call-ups in the coming year-and-a-half.”