In Photos: Israeli Troops Prepare for Battle

IDF conducts major military exercise on the Golan Heights as tensions with Syria and Lebanon escalate

By Michael Selutin | | Topics: IDF
IDF troops train in the north
Photo: Michael Giladi/Flash90

At the end of March, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) concluded a massive 17-week training session that began last November. The maneuvers were conducted in the Golan Heights amid increased concerns of an attack by Hezbollah or other Iran-backed militias.

The next war will come from the north.

The highlight was maneuvers by the 188th Armored Brigade. But the battle scenarios required collaboration with infantry, artillery and attack helicopters. A spokesman for the brigade explained the importance of a “combined arms” approach: “Our tanks do not act alone. Each unit always cooperates with other units. This exercise emphasized joint formations and coordination.”

Israel’s vaunted Merkava main battle tank, with Mount Hermon in the background.

A combined arms approach calls upon the tanks to not only advance into enemy territory, but to also act as scouts and communicate battlefield conditions to other units in real time. In preparation for this role, 188th has been equipped with upgraded digital communications systems and sensors.

In the next war, Israeli forces will work in a more coordinated way than ever before.

Also on display was the new TROPHY system installed on the Merkava tanks to protect them from incoming projectiles. The advanced system can quickly detect incoming projectiles and shoot them down with small interceptor missiles. A tank protected in this way can advance particularly quickly, locate enemy positions and communicate this to other units, which can then attack from the sky, sea or land.

Prayer break. No matter how advanced Israel’s military, we must always remember from where our strength truly comes.

Key to Israel’s battle doctrine for the future is clear and reliable communications. New digital systems have made this possible.

Never alone on the battlefield.

This evening, Tuesday, April 13, we mark the start of Israel’s Memorial Day, a solemn occasion in which the entire nation remembers the sacrifices of our brave soldiers, and comforts the families who have lost beloved fathers, mothers, sons and daughters to war and terrorism.

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