Kfir Brigade to turn into maneuvering infantry force

IDF to make significant changes to largest infantry brigade

IDF Kfir Brigade training exercise (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
IDF Kfir Brigade training exercise
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
The Kfir Brigade will be converted into a more lethal maneuvering infantry force capable of penetrating deep into enemy territory as part of the military’s “Momentum” multiyear plan, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi has decided.
“This is a big change for the brigade,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Hildai Zilberman said, adding that it is “of great importance” to the future of the Israeli military.
The change was made after thorough discussions were held by the general staff, which “decided that the IDF needs more infantry, and that this infantry needs to be more lethal,” he said.
Kochavi made the announcement while on a visit to troops from the brigade’s Haruv Reconnaissance Unit, which had foiled an infiltration attempt by three armed Gazan youths the previous night.
Established in 2005 as a response to the need to combat Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank, Kfir specializes in fighting on both the West Bank and Gaza Strip fronts. With the new changes, it will be able to confront enemy forces on both the southern and northern fronts.
 The Kfir Brigade is the IDF’s largest infantry brigade. It has five battalions: Nachshon Battalion (90th), Shimshon Battalion (92th), Haruv Battalion (93th), Duchifat Battalion (94th) and Netzah Yehuda Battalion (97th).
As part of the new plan, the brigade will undergo significant changes to its structure and will, like the IDF’s other maneuvering brigades – the Paratroopers, Givati, Golani and Nahal – have only four battalions. It is not clear what will happen to the fifth battalion.
Under a process that will take several years, the brigade will receive new weaponry, personnel, wheeled and non-treaded armored personnel carriers and will increase its training with a focus on fighting the enemy in urban combat areas.
The multiyear plan, which is built on the IDF’s new “Victory” concept, uses the motto “readiness and change” and focuses on improving the military’s defensive and offensive capabilities.
Kochavi believes it is of the utmost importance to build up the military for threats it will face some 30 years in the future. He built the new Momentum multiyear plan accordingly, with new concepts and methods of warfare that have been adapted to the challenges of the urban battlefield saturated with enemy fire.
The guiding principle for the plan is to win any future war as quickly as possible.
As such, the military will invest significant amounts to close gaps in several key areas, including weapons, manpower and increasing the Intelligence Directorate’s ability to detect enemy forces in urban areas. It will also focus on improving offensive capabilities of all corps against decentralized enemy troops, which requires more offensive platforms and weapons.
The IDF returned to 17 weeks of consecutive training, an increase from the 13 weeks soldiers used to train. As part of the training program, the IDF has invested hundreds of millions of shekels into upgrading urban-combat training facilities in the Golan Heights, Jordan Valley and the South, adapting them to the challenges facing troops on various fronts.