Armored Corps adopts grading system for gunners

In one case an entire company was grounded to its base after it scored poorly during a firing exercise.

Col Royi Elcabtes 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozlimski)
Col Royi Elcabtes 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozlimski)
In an effort to increase the effectiveness and precision of the IDF's Merkava Tanks , the Armored Corps has adopted a grading system for its gunners, Col. Royi Elcabets, outgoing commander of the 7th Armored Brigade, said Monday. The grading system was adopted following the Second Lebanon War and was recorded by battalion and company commanders throughout the Armored Corps, Elcabets told The Jerusalem Post. It is revolutionary for the ground forces and has until now only been used in the air force for pilots. The new system was already providing results, Elcabets said. "The secret when fighting against an enemy is to know how to use your tank effectively," he said. "Today we know how a lot better than in the past." Elcabets, 40, completed a two-year term last week as commander of the 7th Brigade and will in a few weeks take up his new post as the Southern Command's Chief Operations Officer. He received a law degree in England and later a masters degree in security studies at the National Defense College. In one case an entire company was grounded to its base after it scored poorly during a firing exercise, he said. "Only after the soldiers improved the accuracy of their shooting were they allowed on furlough." The 7th Brigade is deployed throughout the country. Officially under Division 36 in the Golan Heights, the brigade's units are deployed in the West Bank as well as along the Lebanese and Egyptian borders. During Operation Cast Lead earlier this year, two battalions were called up for fighting inside the Gaza Strip. Elcabets said that Israel is better prepared today for another round with Hizbullah and that the hundreds of tanks that would be sent into Lebanon for operations would be used more effectively in the face of the anti-tank missile threat. "Hizbullah understands that we are ready and that they will pay a heavy price," he said. "That is why they are not doing anything." Tanks proved their importance during Cast Lead, he said. "Tanks will be used on every front in the Middle East," he said. "The tank creates deterrence and more importantly demonstrates sovereignty."