IDF completes major navy, ground, air force drill

Despite being planned in advance, exercise comes amid widespread regional instability, the epicenter of which is Syrian war.

June 20, 2013 18:22
2 minute read.
SOLDIERS HONE their shooting skills at an IDF simulation facility in the South.

IDF soldiers shoot at simulation 370. (photo credit: Yaakov Lappin)

The IDF completed a major combined forces drill on Thursday which began at the start of the week and was aimed at testing responses of regular units and reserves to a range of fast-paced battle scenarios.

The exercise included simulations of simultaneous security escalations on multiple fronts and involved the navy, ground forces, and the air force.

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Despite being planned long in advance, the exercise comes amid widespread regional instability, the epicenter of which is the Syrian civil war.

Army sources said it is very important, and will enhance levels of combat readiness.

A senior Israel Navy source said that all navy forces took part. “We practiced providing naval assistance to ground forces and working with the air force,” the source said.

The exercise represented an additional phase in the growing interconnectedness of the military’s components, he added.

The heightened coordination between forces is leading to an increase in the IDF’s power, the source said.

“This was also about the growing linkage between various components inside the navy,” the source said.

“We’re seeing how we can integrate the navy as much as possible in a [future] military victory.”

“We didn’t know all of the scenarios ahead of time. This led to surprise both psychologically and operationally,” the source said. “Many lessons have been learned.”

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon addressed an end-of-training event for IDF officers at a base in Mitzpe Ramon, “At this time, the IDF is dealing both at home and abroad, near and far, with a considerable number of fronts of uncertainty,” he said.

Ya’alon cited the Lebanese front where Hezbollah continues to arm itself and plans on harming Israeli civilians in a future conflict, and the front with Syria, “where a civil war continues to exact a heavy price of human lives, and a [civil] war is nearing our borders, placing us before a complex test that is full of significance.”

He added that there was “a front of uncertainty with the Gaza Strip, where the Hamas terrorist group continues to rule, and which has placed as its goal the destruction of the state of Israel.”

Warships from the navy’s Flotilla 3, coastal patrol boats, naval commandos, and submarines all took part in this week’s drill. One scenario included combat against enemy naval fleets and defending the Israeli coastline.

OC Israel Navy R.-Adm. Ram Rutberg praised the high level of cooperation exhibited by forces in the exercise.

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