IDF shows off its innovative might in week-long conference

The conference will “enable the deepening of cooperation in the areas of strategy and defense," said the IDF.

IDF international innovation conference (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
IDF international innovation conference
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

The IDF showed off its technological innovations to thousands of IDF officers and close to a dozen chiefs of staff from militaries across the world in its week-long international innovation conference.

The “operational innovation” conference involved some 200 participants in delegations from 25 countries, including Finland, India, Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Holland, Canada, Germany, United States, Greece, Cyprus, and from NATO.

Chiefs of Staff from Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Morocco as well as CENTCOM Commander General Michael ‘Erik’ Kurilla, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley also took part in the conference.

The first-of-its-kind conference included professional workshops led by IDF commanders as well as an operational simulation led by the IDF Ground Forces, Navy and Israel Air Force. The simulation, held in southern Israel, demonstrated innovative techniques for the challenges of the future urban battlefields that the IDF expects to encounter.

During the demonstration of a multi-domain battle, troops from Unit 888 “Refaim” multi-dimensional unit, the 12th battalion of the Golani Brigade along with an armored company and a combat engineering force, as well as fighter planes, helicopters, drones and more took part.

IDF's international innovation conference (Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

The delegations were also shown various stations that included a variety of combat capabilities and operational demonstrations using drones and electronic warfare. The delegations were also shown Israel’s multi-layered air defense systems including the Iron Dome, Arrow, David’s Sling, and Patriot batteries.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also visited the conference and toured the various stations displaying multi-dimensional and innovative combat methods and watched the multi-dimensional fire exercise.

 IDF soldiers at the international innovation conference (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) IDF soldiers at the international innovation conference (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

He later met with Morocco’s Chief of the Royal Armed Forces Lt.-Gen. Belkhir El Farouk, and discussed the further promotion of relations between the two countries. Gantz visited Morocco in November and signed a memorandum of understanding with his Moroccan counterpart. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi also visited Morocco about two months ago, marking the first such visit by an IDF official to the North African kingdom.

Following his visit to the conference, Gantz emphasized its importance in positioning Israel as a technological military power as well as a country with advantages for the world and the region.

'He who seeks peace must prepare for war': Herzog hosts military leaders from 18 nations

On Wednesday evening, President Isaac Herzog hosted a reception at his official residence in Jerusalem for military leaders from 18 nations taking part in the conference.

“There is a famous saying: ‘He who seeks peace must prepare for war,’” Herzog told the invitees. “In order to prepare for war, and therefore in order to seek peace and achieve it, we need the best armies possible. We really pray and hope there will be peace, and that is why we are so happy that we have neighbors from our region and Arab countries here.”

The military says the conference will “enable the deepening of cooperation in the areas of strategy and defense, expansion of in-depth mutual learning and international cooperation when developing and operating military capabilities.”

“The conference is an additional milestone in strengthening the cooperation between the IDF and other countries worldwide and creating regional security and stability,” the statement added.