IDF soldiers training in southern Israel 311.
(photo credit: Tammy Habteyes)
Concerned that training exercises have become too sterile, the IDF’s Bahd 1
Officer Training School has instituted a new regimen aimed at preparing future
officers for the uncertainty and chaos that comes with war.
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training regimen is the brainchild of Col. Eran Niv – commander of Bahd 1 for
the past year – and is called “Black Swan,” referencing the theory developed by
Nassim Nicholas Taleb regarding events that take people by surprise.
week-long regimen begins by sending cadets to unfamiliar training grounds in the
North on their own with their full gear. The cadets then undergo a series of
drills to simulate how they would act during gun battles with Hezbollah
guerrillas, kidnapping scenarios and navigation mishaps.
“We want to see
what the cadets do to minimize the surprise and to remain in control,” a senior
officer at the training school said this week. “The emphasis is on survivability
but also on how they adapt to surprises, chaos and changes.”
the Second Lebanon War, the IDF began training units with the aim of restoring
basic capabilities to the military’s ground forces.
However, after five
years of training, some commanders feel the scenarios that are regularly
practiced have become too simple and insufficiently challenging.
Brigade Col. Amir Abulafia recently wrote a new training doctrine for the IDF
Ground Forces Command under which battalion and brigade exercises are supposed
to be more complicated and include higher numbers of casualties than
“We need to make the exercise as close as possible to the way
things will play out on the battlefield,” the officer from Bahd 1 said. “There
will be many surprises and the best way to prepare for them is by training.”