This week the IDF’s Armored Division 162, also known as the Steel Formation, officially moved from the Central Command, where it has been based for nearly 40 years, to the Southern Command, marking a significant step in realizing plans by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot to prepare the military for future challenges on Israel’s borders.
In the face of hybrid, heavily armed terrorist armies building up their capabilities to disrupt daily life in Israel, Eisenkot is planning to develop three multi-arena, all-purpose wartime divisions, designed to swiftly mobilize and take the fight to the enemy.
Division 162 is one of the three. The move to the South stems from changes to the IDF outlined by the Gideon multi-year working plan, an army source told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. This is part of the response the IDF is preparing against current and future expected challenges, he added.
“Southern Command received a quality division. It is clear that it will be significant in future conflicts,” the source said.
Armored Division 162 left the Southern Command 35 years ago, after the peace treaty with Egypt, moving to the Central Command. It has taken part in all of Israel’s wars, and is now returning to the Southern Command, though its form has changed considerably since it was last there.