IDF OFFICERS attend the ceremony marking the opening of a Military Intelligence Branch school in Ashalim in the South.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
The IDF held a ceremony recently marking the opening of a Military Intelligence Branch school in Ashalim, deep in the Negev, marking the first stage of the branch’s move to the South.
The school will train cadets on how to gather intelligence in the cyber world, a skill becoming increasingly vital to the intelligence world.
Col. Miri Maoz, head of the Administration for Moving Military Intelligence to the Negev, told The Jerusalem Post that the inauguration was the first step in Military Intelligence’s move southwards, in line with directives by MI chief Maj.-Gen. Herzl Halevi.
“We see the cyber world as a significant spearhead in the intelligence field. Cyber [data collectors] have to be the highest quality personnel.
This move, which we are carrying out with the Defense Ministry and the Rashi Foundation, is very important for the next steps,” she said.
The gradual move of Military Intelligence should be complete by 2020, Maoz added, by which time a sprawling Intelligence Campus, near Shoket junction, northeast of Beersheba, will be the branch’s new home.
Military Intelligence is currently based in the center and North.
“Moving the people south physically is the most complex part. They have to get acclimatized to their new surroundings, and find housing solutions for their families. This involves a civilian dimension,” Maoz said.
The new campus will enjoy the latest hi-tech infrastructure, Maoz said, representing an upgrade in capabilities.
“The South has plenty of space to build, unlike the center of the country. We can allow ourselves to be much more spread out,” she said.
The new intelligence school will also feature remote learning options for cadets, either conscripts or career soldiers, who have to serve in the center of the country.
“There are lecturers who will commute to the South on certain days,” she said.
The Intelligence Campus should be ready within four years, according to Maoz.
In the meantime, Military Intelligence will continue to move itself southwards “in component units.”
“We are setting up the third largest city in the South.”