IDF'S Company Commander course to finish this week

Col.Hanoch Dina: “Those who make the difference are the company commanders”

An IDF soldier trains in combat techniques (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
An IDF soldier trains in combat techniques
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Close to 100 officers from the IDF’s Ground Forces will be graduating the military’s latest company commander course this week after nearly three and a half months of intensive training.
The course is made up of three stages, a theoretical part where officers are learning in classrooms and simulators about the history and battles of the IDF which lasts one month followed by another month-long stage where they apply what they learned in the field and combine additional theoretical lessons with drills and finally three weeks of drills in the Golan Heights.
“This is their final test, they are doing drills simulating dealing with the threat in the north, during both the day and night,” Course Commander Col. Hanoch Duba told The Jerusalem Post.
The men and women in the course come to Duba after their basic officers training at Bahad 1 in the Negev.
“The cadets really want to succeed and where they learned the basics in Bahad 1, they come to this course with experience, and during the course they can take that experience and increase it to allow them to be successful and professional, both as commanders and as individuals,” Duba said.
And while it’s preparing them for war, “it gives them the knowledge to be a better commander during routine times,” he added. “During the course, they also learn about commanding over people and it grows him as a commander in the IDF. This course allows them to make mistakes and learn from them.”
According to Duba, the course has raised the bar for the officers who are finishing the course “extremely professional and ready for command.”
“I expect them to be exceptional company commanders because, at the end of the day, those who make the difference are the company commanders,” Duba said. “They are with the troops, during routine, and during war. On the one hand, they are professional and can lead their troops during war and bring them home, while on the other hand they are knowledgeable and act as the mother or father of their troops and teach them to be better IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens.”
The military has changed its formulation of the operational concept of victory of the IDF, which will include new concepts and methods of warfare that have been adapted to the challenges of the urban battlefield saturated with enemy fire.
With the Israeli military gearing up to face a more complex battlefield in the next war, the IDF will be adapting training to the challenges of urban combat and is establishing urban-combat training facilities with advanced virtual-reality simulators for both soldiers and reservists, which will allow them to strengthen their fighting methods to match the characteristics of the modern battlefield and those of Israel’s enemies.
“This course gives them the ability to command over troops as well as teaches them the new world that the IDF is moving towards, one of lethality and efficiency,” Duba said. “They come out with the tools to conduct multidimensional warfare, using both intelligence and fire properly and efficiently.”
According to Duba many drills over the past year were done in simulators rather than in the field, including brigade-level drills. In the company commander course the officers were trained on advanced technology and in classrooms had digital maps which simulated enemy territory.
But despite the move to a more digitized military, the IDF’s Ground Forces understand that digital technology might not always work while on the battlefield and are still drilling troops on well-trained battle techniques.
“I don’t see a way where everything will be done in simulators, but things are definitely changing,” he said.
Duba served as a battalion commander in the Armored Corps’ 460th Brigade and as commander of the 82nd Ga’ash Battalion in the 7th Armored Brigade. He fought with his three brothers, who also serve as officers in the IDF, during Operation Protective Edge in 2014 against Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip.
While none of the officers in the course have any experience fighting on the battlefield during war, Duba believes that though the challenges they face are more complex than in the past they will be more than ready to contend with them.
“I see mature officers with professional command and the day they will need to command over troops, they will do it very well. They will lead their troops professionally, even though they have never seen war,” he said. “We are six years without war, and that’s a good thing and I hope that it stays that way.”
A veteran of the Second Lebanon War, Duba said that while the next war with Hezbollah “won’t be a walk in the park,” there are some advantages that the group has morphed into a terror army including how to confront them.
“It won’t be a simple war, especially when they have arsenals aimed at our home front. But we will defeat them. I fought them in 2006, and even before, and I’m not flippant about them, but we are much better prepared and I have no doubt that we will defeat them,” he said.