Artillery battalion holds war drill on Golan Heights

Golan Artillery Regiment calls up soldiers to test readiness to deploy near Lebanon soon after dealing with a Syrian threat.

IDF drill Golan Heights 370 (photo credit: IDF Spokesman)
IDF drill Golan Heights 370
(photo credit: IDF Spokesman)
A battalion of the Artillery Corps held a drill this week simulating a response to attacks on the Golan Heights from Syria.
During the drill, a new version of a classified military mapping system which allows the corps to map out its forces and the position of the enemy – was used.
“It helps us fire in a more effective manner,” Lt.-Col. Maxim Levi, commander of the Namer (“Leopard”) Artillery Battalion – a part of the Golan Artillery Regiment based in the North – told The Jerusalem Post. Levi could not reveal any further details about the system.
The drill began a few hours after the Yom Kippur fast, when soldiers, who were on home leave, were scrambled to the Golan Heights. The entire battalion, whose members were bused to the North, arrived at artillery cannons and began firing within a few hours of the call-up, Levi said.
“We wanted to see how quick it would take,” he explained.
“The drill saw us move across the whole Golan. We then moved to the Galilee, moving dozens of armored fighting vehicles over more than 50 kilometers for the second part of drill,” he added.
The second phase was designed to test the battalion’s readiness to deploy near Lebanon soon after dealing with a Syrian threat. Such training is designed to ensure flexibility in the face of unexpected difficulties.
Levi said that his forces were assisted by drones transmitting images of the mock targets. The Sky Rider drones, operated by a special Artillery Corps unit, inform gunners whether they hit their targets accurately. Where they miss, the gunners fire again until they strike the targets.
“It was very difficult for the soldiers. They faced uncertain conditions, and carried out intense physical tasks, a few hours after completing their fast,” he said. “We instill a can-do attitude in them. There’s a will here to carry out the mission whatever the difficulties.”
Based near Syria, the Namer Battalion is never far from the sounds of the brutal civil war.
“We’re hearing blasts from over the border all of the time, every day,” Levi confirmed.
“We bring soldiers to lookout positions so they can see the real picture, and not just see it on the news. They see how the regime shells its own villages. It gives them a sense of the arena.”