IDF’s 215th Division drills for war with Hezbollah

Hundreds of troops and reservists participated in a tactical drill in the Jordan Valley.

Troops from the IDF’s 215 Artillery Division  (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Troops from the IDF’s 215 Artillery Division
Troops from the IDF’s 215 Artillery Division have completed a week-long tactical drill simulating war on the Lebanese front using a new operational concept aimed at producing a higher level of effectiveness on the battlefield.
Hundreds of troops as well as officers, commanders and reservists from the 402nd and 55th battalions participated in the tactical drill taking place in the Jordan Valley, which began on Sunday.
The level and size of the exercise is “something that has never happened before,” 402nd Battalion Commander Lt.-Col. Udi Amir told The Jerusalem Post. “One of the important parts of the drill is the new operational concept which will allow us to independently fulfill the mission.”
According to Amir, the division has been drilling on bettering their understanding and use of all the new cutting-edge weapon systems that the Artillery Corps has recently acquired such as high-caliber gun systems, remotely piloted aerial vehicles and new computer systems.
The new technology and operational concept allows the IDF to neutralize enemies within a fraction of the time that just a few years ago would have taken several minutes.
With all the new technology and systems, “it’s easier for us to destroy the enemy before they disappear,” he said. And while the battalion is drilling for possible war with Hezbollah in the North, they took part in the last round of violence between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip (Operation Black Belt).
“We know how to transfer what we learned from the southern front to the North,” Amir said. “We know how to use the technology which is very complicated and how to find our enemies.”
But, he stressed, “We know how to differentiate between Hamas and Hezbollah, which is a quasi-army on a different front. There are many differences but the use of technology and techniques are similar.”
According to Amir, the challenge facing Israel’s military is the size of Hezbollah and their missile arsenal, which “will make the IDF need to react faster and in a stronger way because it’s a bigger country. Will also need more forces. It’s a totally different war.”
In addition to all the new technology being integrated, the exercise includes maneuvering batteries in urban areas as well as mountainous terrain.
“In Lebanon we know that many villages will be evacuated, something we don’t have in Gaza and that will allow the IDF to maneuver much easier,” he said.
With a war of words heating up between Israel and her northern foes, the drill is of utmost importance for a military that is expecting a multi-front war.
“The troops like to be in the field and feel ready for war, be it in the North or the South,” said Amir. “With this enemy or the other, we know there will be challenges and fatalities, so we drill a lot, whenever we have time.”