IDF troops with tank on Gaza border 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Concerned that training scenarios have become too “sterile,” the IDF Ground
Forces Command is considering a proposal to make infantry exercises more
“chaotic,” with more casualties, intelligence failures, difficulty in
maneuvering and a more advanced adversary.
Following the Second Lebanon
War, the IDF launched an unprecedented training regimen to restore basic
capabilities to the military’s ground forces. However, after four years of
training, some commanders feel the scenarios that are regularly practiced have
become too simple and insufficiently challenging.
One problem brigade
commanders have discovered is that a significant percentage of combat soldiers
drop out of exercises in the middle.
As a result, the commander of the
Nahal Brigade, Col. Amir Abulafia, recently issued an order that soldiers
excused from an exercise for medical reasons will play the role of wounded
soldiers instead of sitting on the sidelines.
“We need to make exercises
more difficult so they better simulate a real battle,” a senior IDF commander
explained. “This means more casualties, technological problems, scheduling
issues and constant changes in orders.”
The Ground Forces Command has
held a series of meetings with brigade commanders to discuss the changes. One
brigade commander said he would like to see more effective use of live-fire
exercises between opposing IDF forces.
“Currently, the force that
impersonates the enemy does it in a way that simply looks like fireworks,” the
officer complained. “We need to make the scenario more real for commanders so
they are better prepared for future battles.”
The decision to change the
training regimen follows a move in the Ground Forces Command last year to
restructure its infantry battalions with the integration of new weapons systems
and the formation of special squads with new capabilities.
involved the establishment of a special sniper squad in each company.
Previously, there was only one sniper team per battalion.
has also received a number of two-seat ATVs, which can carry 700 kg. of supplies
in the rear, as well as at least one wounded soldier. The vehicles have a
maximum speed of approximately 80 kph.