A tank from the 52nd Armored Battalion 370.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesman’s Office)
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.
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
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
“He is the one who activated the infantry companies.
forces took part too, such as artillery, and field surveillance units, who
provided intelligence to every battalion,” David said.
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
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,”
“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
“The terrain was very difficult, but simulates the territory we’d
fight in,” Tzur added.