IDF trains in evacuating wounded civilians during Gaza terror attacks

Bedouin Reconnaissance battalion practices evacuating wounded during a Gaza terrorist attack, managing simultaneous events

Date: 08/02/2012, 11:55 AM     Author: Hadas Duvdevani

The Bedouin Reconnaissance battalion and Nahal Brigade soldiers conducted a drill practicing evacuation of wounded victims of a terrorist attack in the Gaza Strip area. Exercises of this kind are usually conducted every few months, but the Bedouin Reconnaissance battalion engages in such training exercises more frequently, given the constant threats in their operational area along the borders.

Reconnaissance Battalion Bedouins volunteer to serve in the IDF (Zahal). Stationed at Israel’s borders, a Bedouin tracker’s job is to obstruct illegal breaches into Israeli territory including that of terrorists, illegal immigrants and smugglers. The skills required for tracking have been passed down generations of Bedouins, as they are essential for their everyday lives.

Leading semi-nomadic, Muslim lifestyle, the IDF (Zahal) accommodates their unique needs during Ramadan as well as in general, providing them with university courses, medical services and organized rides from their remote villages.

“Some of our operational activity within the Gaza area is to prevent border infiltration,” said deputy company commander, Cpt. Joseph Suad. “The main threat is attempts to abduct soldiers, planting explosives, and direct fire over the border. During the exercise we secured an area for the wounded to keep them from danger.  In order to prevent a kidnapping attempt we need to neutralize the threatening enemy force,” explained Cpt. Suad.

As a part of the exercise, forces from the Bedouin Reconnaissance battalion are hit by a mock explosive device while patrolling the border near Gaza, injuring one soldier. Later, another soldier is injured in an exchange of fire with nearby enemy forces. The combat medics begin treating the wounded and call for a helicopter to evacuate the wounded and transfer them quickly for more extensive medical treatment.

Meanwhile, at another base near the southern Gaza Strip, the Nahal’s forces take part in a similar drill. The goal is to deal with a scenario in which two different events are taking place simultaneously, forcing the operations room to operate intensely during stressful conditions.

Cpt. Suad concluded that the training exercises ran smoothly and the results were satisfactory.