IDF exercises to be more ‘chaotic’

"Currently, forces impersonate the enemy in a way that simply looks like fireworks."

IDF troops with tank on Gaza border 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
IDF troops with tank on Gaza border 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
Concerned that training scenarios have become too “sterile,” the IDF Ground Forces Command is considering a proposal to make infantry exercises more “chaotic,” with more casualties, intelligence failures, difficulty in maneuvering and a more advanced adversary.
Following the Second Lebanon War, the IDF launched an unprecedented training regimen to restore basic capabilities to the military’s ground forces. However, after four years of training, some commanders feel the scenarios that are regularly practiced have become too simple and insufficiently challenging.
One problem brigade commanders have discovered is that a significant percentage of combat soldiers drop out of exercises in the middle.
As a result, the commander of the Nahal Brigade, Col. Amir Abulafia, recently issued an order that soldiers excused from an exercise for medical reasons will play the role of wounded soldiers instead of sitting on the sidelines.
“We need to make exercises more difficult so they better simulate a real battle,” a senior IDF commander explained. “This means more casualties, technological problems, scheduling issues and constant changes in orders.”
The Ground Forces Command has held a series of meetings with brigade commanders to discuss the changes. One brigade commander said he would like to see more effective use of live-fire exercises between opposing IDF forces.
“Currently, the force that impersonates the enemy does it in a way that simply looks like fireworks,” the officer complained. “We need to make the scenario more real for commanders so they are better prepared for future battles.”
The decision to change the training regimen follows a move in the Ground Forces Command last year to restructure its infantry battalions with the integration of new weapons systems and the formation of special squads with new capabilities.
One change involved the establishment of a special sniper squad in each company. Previously, there was only one sniper team per battalion.
Each battalion has also received a number of two-seat ATVs, which can carry 700 kg. of supplies in the rear, as well as at least one wounded soldier. The vehicles have a maximum speed of approximately 80 kph.