Report: 20 percent of army reservists unprepared

Thursday, April 05, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
According to an Israel Defense Forces report, about 20 percent of IDF reserve units are unprepared for military operations and need fundamental training.

The report by the IDF Ground Forces Command revealed that 15 to 20 percent of reserve battalions have insufficient knowledge of the elementary military exercises taught to newly-established units.

After the Second Lebanon War, a committee recommended that reservists undergo at least 10 days of training a year, but due to various constraints, they will receive only five. One infantry reservist said he and his unit were called up to fight last summer after five years without serious training.

"Our unit's senior staff always...keeps training, but the soldiers haven't been to serious training for five years, and the staff usually train with a low supply of ammunition," he told the Jerusalem Post.

The Defense Ministry said that reserve combatants were being called up and trained, along with regular combat soldiers. Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered a fitness-improvement plan for 2007 including training for ground forces, the air force, and navy “on a scale that the IDF hasn't seen in many years.”

"The defense minister also ordered the establishment of a fitness code that will determine how many hours of specific training are required to bring a unit up to par," according to a statement.

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