Paratroop brigade’s recon battalion completes week-long graduation drill

The Paratrooper Brigade’s reconnaissance battalion held a graduation drill in the North last week, completing 18 months of training.

PARATROOPERS TRAIN in urban warfare techniques during last week’s exercise in the Jordan Valley. (photo credit: IDF)
PARATROOPERS TRAIN in urban warfare techniques during last week’s exercise in the Jordan Valley.
(photo credit: IDF)
The elite battalion carried out the exercise near Elyakim and in the Jordan Valley, where soldiers trained with live fire, close combat situations such as urban warfare, as well as field combat exercises and medical evacuation of wounded.
Maj. Dudi Elharar told The Jerusalem Post at the paratroopers base in central Israel that “the drills were very intensive.
We put our soldiers in situations which make them ready for war,” adding that along with the week-long drill, the soldiers’ officers had their own training exercise in the Gilboa region as well as the Jordan Valley.
Created during the First Lebanon War under the command of former major-general Doron Almog, its mission is to be the brigade’s elite reconnaissance unit. With most of the IDF’s fighting taking place in urban areas, the battalion must prepare for extremely complex and dangerous situations. It serves as the eyes and ears of the regiment, conducting special operations in accordance with each company’s specialized fields.
While most of the activities are routine ongoing security operations, such as carrying out overnight raids in the West Bank against Palestinian terrorist suspects, in wartime the special forces battalion serves as advance troops responsible for reconnaissance, sabotage and missions deep inside enemy territory.
Made up of three specialized companies – demolitions and combat engineering, reconnaissance, and anti-tank – the soldiers also specialize in counter-terrorist operations, navigation, underground warfare, sabotage; virtually any combat situation.
“It is important to build a soldier to be both strong and professional,” Maj. Elharar told the Post, adding that the soldiers in the elite battalion are trained according to the values of excellence, friendship and honesty.
According to Elharar, what makes these elite battalions different from others is not only their physical strength, but their level of knowledge and professionalism in their specific fields of expertise.
The soldiers are also given weekly courses in the history of the IDF and the State of Israel in order to “bridge the past with present and the future,” Elharar said, adding that “we are giving them a professional and value-filled background which only makes the soldiers stronger.”
Playing on the US Army recruiting slogan “Be All You Can Be,” Elharar said his motto for his soldiers is to “be the best you can be.”