Improving with age: the 7th Armored innovates

The 7th Armored Brigade, the oldest armored brigade in the IDF (Zahal), won the innovation award for training and quality of performance from the Ground Forces Headquarters

Date: 20/12/2012, 3:24 PM     Author: Matan Galin, IDF (Zahal) Website

The 7th Armored Brigade has made a revolutionary change to its training procedures. The 7th Armored Brigade took top prize in a competition conducted by the Ground Forces Headquarters, which included every combat unit in the IDF (Zahal). The prize was awarded for innovation in training and quality of performance. The Brigade Commander stressed, “We continue to prepare for war. We must always remember that the real test is on the battlefield, not in competitions.” The Brigade celebrated the prize with further training and exercises with the companies and battalions.

7th Armored Brigade Commander Col. Oded Basyuk said, “We have, in fact, changed the training process over the course of the last year and a half. We have changed the focus and the way we drill mechanized units. We have arrived at a new training pattern, effective from the level of squads and companies all the way up to the Brigade, involving new methods in new areas. The process is very important and has had a significant impact on the unit.”

Col. Basyuk also referred to the changes taking place on the battlefield and how the armored brigades are coping with these changes. The primary emphasis has been fighting on the various arenas  in which the IDF (Zahal) operates, with each area demanding a different approach. “There is always the dilemma of reality versus expectations, and we are looking to prepare for it properly,” said Col. Basyuk.

The 7th Armored Brigade is the oldest armored unit in the IDF (Zahal), and the only one that has been in operation since the Independence War. Despite the Brigade using the oldest tanks still in use in the IDF (Zahal), the Merkava 2, it has continued to prove itself in the field with the award won this week is proof of the Brigade’s effectiveness. “During the Second Lebanon War, I commanded the 82nd Battalion [of the 7th Armored Brigade], where I fought alongside more advanced tanks. In the end, I don’t think it’s the type of tank that determines success. The 7th Brigade has proven throughout its history that it can accomplish any task in the best way possible,” concluded Col. Basyuk.