Reserve soldiers shun training drill

Soldiers say ongoing equipment shortages disregarded by commanders; IDF conducting inquiry.

reserve soldiers 224.88 (photo credit: )
reserve soldiers 224.88
(photo credit: )
A company of IDF reserve soldiers refused Wednesday overnight to take part in a battalion exercise, citing equipment shortages and the attitude of their commanders. The soldiers in company, which is part of the Jordan Valley Brigade, were drafted for reserve service several days ago in order to take part in a large-scale training exercise at the army's Ground Forces Training Base in Tze'elim. The exercise was part of the army's training process that followed the Second Lebanon War. The reserve soldiers said that they had encountered equipment shortages as soon as the exercise began. Heaters were reportedly absent in the bitterly cold desert, vehicles were in short supply and there were some food-related problems. The soldiers notified their commanders and repeatedly requested that the shortages be dealt with, but to no avail, they said. When their demands remained untended to, the soldiers told their commanders that they were refusing to go to the exercise, and it went ahead without them. Brig.-Gen Guy Tzur, commander of the training base, is expected to conduct a full inquiry into the incident. In a statement, the IDF Spokesman's Office said that the circumstances surrounding the incident were being looked into. "On the surface the incident seems like one which constitutes a breach of discipline and will be handled with disciplinary measures. As for the claims of shortages, the equipment referred to was not equipment needed for combat and was not imperative for the exercise."