Combat battalions to get instructors in heat of battle

Ground Forces Command decides each battalion’s training instructor would – in time of war – serve in the same capacity to transmit questions back to command and distribute the answers.

idf tank 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
idf tank 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In an effort to improve the effectiveness of IDF operations, the Ground Forces Command has established a new position within infantry and armored battalions: officers who will act as real-time instructors capable of training commanders in the midst of ongoing operations.
The need for such a position emerged during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last year, during which IDF troops encountered new Hamas capabilities, including weaponry and obstacles, that required queries to command headquarters for instructions on how to deal with them.
“In some cases, it was a certain type of explosive device or tunnel system that the forces in the field did not know exactly how to deal with,” a senior officer explained.
During the operation, for the first time, the IDF Ground Forces Command studied the issues and sent officers into Gaza to explain to the units how to deal with the threats.
In an effort to improve the process, the Ground Forces Command decided that each battalion’s training instructor with the rank of captain or major would – in time of war – serve in the same capacity and be responsible for transmitting questions back to the command and then distributing the answers throughout the unit.
A colonel in the reserves has also been stationed in the headquarters of each division with the task of overseeing the process and ensuring that the questions receive real-time answers and make their way back to the units in the field.
The process was recently tested during a large-scale IDF exercise. The Ground Forces Command will hold a seminar next month to explain the new process to battalion and brigade commanders.
One question that has come up is how to distribute the new information to all the IDF units operating in a certain area, and not just to the specific unit which raised the problem.
The solution appears to be Tzayad – the ground force’s new Digital Army Program – which already provides commanders with an unprecedented view of the battlefield, including the location of enemy and friendly forces.