IDF completes exercise to prepare for northern front

Infantry, armored units participate in Jordan Valley war drill focused on readying forces for northern battle arenas.

November 14, 2013 02:37
2 minute read.
A tank from the 52nd Armored Battalion in the Jordan Valley.

A tank from the 52nd Armored Battalion 370. (photo credit: IDF Spokesman’s Office)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The IDF recently completed a large-scale war drill in the Jordan Valley, designed to prepare both infantry and armored units for battle in a northern arena, army officers told The Jerusalem Post last week.

The brigade-wide exercise saw close cooperation between infantry soldiers from the Kfir Brigade and the 52nd Armored Battalion of the Armored Corps, who advanced through difficult, hilly terrain and used live fire, as they practiced conquering enemy positions.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

During the exercise, soldiers on foot marched over 20 kilometers in 10 hours, before meeting up with armored units at rendezvous points, under the cover of artillery fire. They then practiced storming enemy positions with the assistance of tanks.

Capt. Ezri David, a Kfir Brigade Operations Branch Officer, said the training was focused on preparing forces for northern battle arenas, though not exclusively.

“We prepared for all scenarios, including ones that could occur on the southern borders, where one of our battalions is heading to,” he said. “This exercise was very unique, and more challenging than usual.

“Compared to the last drill we held,” David added, “when I was a company commander, we moved up in our abilities, not just by one rung, but by an entire ladder.”

The war drill gradually grew in scope, until it involved the entire brigade, he added.

“Training with the Armored Corps enabled us to see how they operate. We’ve been working on cooperation with them for years, and learning to take advantage of one another’s abilities. The exercise involved three battalions from our brigade, and one armored battalion,” David said.

The combined forces came under the control of the commander of the 52nd Armored Battalion, Lt.-Col Udi Tzur.

“He is the one who activated the infantry companies.

Other forces took part too, such as artillery, and field surveillance units, who provided intelligence to every battalion,” David said.

Despite budget cuts, and perhaps because of them, training, when it occurs, is more intensive now than in the past. Even though the number of exercises has decreased in frequency, David said.

“A few months ago, we carried out an urban warfare drill and in the future, we’re practicing fighting at night. Then, we’ll return to our operational duties in Judea and Samaria,” David explained.

Lt.-Col. Tzur said his armored battalion played a central role in the week-long exercise.

“In the last act, we used live fire in the middle of challenging terrain. It was a very successful event, I’m glad to say,” he stated.

“We take part in infantry exercises, and sometimes they take part in ours. This is very necessary, because I don’t see a situation anywhere, in the north or south, where infantry can operate without the armored corps, or vice versa, as a maneuvering force,” he continued. “We have to be combined to achieve our goals.

“Everyone expressed their relative advantage. Our advantage is the huge scope of firepower we bring. Infantry walk and fight, and they can enter buildings that house threats to our tanks, but they do not have the ability to strike targets at long range like a tank battalion can,” he said.

“The terrain was very difficult, but simulates the territory we’d fight in,” Tzur added.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron