For the first time since the Second Lebanon War, the IDF completed a training course for brigade commanders on Thursday aimed at preparing them for future conflicts.
Twenty-two officers destined to become brigade commanders attended the four-week course, including four officers in the reserves. It was directed by Brig.-Gen. Yoav Har-Even. The course was last held in 2005 and is scheduled to take place again in 2008.
The training emphasized a number of lessons learned from the various probes into the IDF's performance during the war, including the question of where the brigade commander is expected to be when his troops are in battle. A number of brigade commanders were harshly criticized for remaining in war rooms in Israel while their men were fighting Hizbullah inside Lebanon.
"We focused on the role that the officer needs to play and where he should be," said a military source involved in the course. "The obvious conclusion was that the brigade commander should be with his troops in the field."
The course, the military source said, was aimed at providing the commanders the skills to enable them to better utilize their resources as well as to minimize misunderstandings as orders are passed down through the chain of command.
"We tried to help the commanders better understand the expected decision-making process," the source said. "How to interpret orders that reach the brigade from the command and division above."