IDF combat soldiers complete a long march as part of their advanced training.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Ground Forces Command is preparing reserve deployment for a range of potential scenarios, from limited, single-front conflicts to large-scale, multi-arena wars, which can erupt spontaneously or gradually develop, a senior military source told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
“We understand that local incidents can develop into wider, longer events. The world has become more complex.
We are preparing our activation options accordingly,” the source said.
IDF reserve soldiers in the Ground Forces will be fully integrated with conscripts in the event of any future conflict, the officer said.
The reserve units are in their second year of stepped-up combat training, in line with recommendations made by Maj.-Gen. Roni Numa, who is currently OC Central Command, and previously headed a committee that examined the reserves model.
“Every operation has involved reserves, and future operations will too,” the source said. “It would be wrong to look at the activation of reserves as separate from the conscripted forces.”
Since 2015, when the Defense Ministry received its first multiyear budget in several years, and was able to institute its Gideon spending plan, the Ground Forces have both shed excess reservists and increased training for those who have remained.
Infantry reservists train once every two years and Armored Corps reservists train once a year with their vehicles.
“We focused on training rather than operational missions,” the source said.
This came after the Ground Forces reduced their reserve numbers by some 140 percent.
“Those that remained are more trained and more active,” he said.
Once every three years, the reservists are called up for a three-week operational mission, during routine times.
“This is also part of their training,” the source said.
In the event of any conflict, conscripted units will be the first to be deployed, as they are on scene, he said. They would soon be joined by reservists, who belong to units that have predesignated areas of operation.
The source said motivation among reservists “is high. They see that their time in training is organized well, and they feel they are really doing something important. They understand they will likely need these skills in the future.”