Iron Trails Reconnaissance Company conducts major exercise

Exercise includes climbing Mount Hermon, long marches, patrols, observation and navigation under stressful conditions

Date: 26/10/2011, 6:04 PM     Author: Florit Shoihet

Behind every successful tank, there is a successful reconnaissance company soldier: Far from the glamour of the infantry and closer than any other unit to the thunder of shells, the reconnaissance company of the “Iron Trails” armored brigade conducted this month a particularly grueling training exercise, during which soldiers were tested both on the ground and in the air.

Commanders devised a unique exercise that included climbing to the top of Mount Hermon, long marches, patrols, observation and navigation under stressful conditions. The exercise culminated with a drill in the Golan Heights, during which soldiers dispatched to live fire zones and took over complex targets under the cover of artillery and tanks.

The fresh air of the Golan Heights was just starting to warm up. Three brown helicopters appeared in the bright sky like giant insects and landed in the green firing zones of Israel’s north. Fighters burst out of each helicopter, completely disregarding the heavy clouds of dust produced by the helicopter blades. Within a short time, the soldiers were already organized into platoons and squads, assimilated into the dark shadows cast by the trees. 

“This is a very intense drill,” said the commander of the reconnaissance company, Major Liron Aroch. “The intensity of the drill is expressed in the number of parameters like movement in tough terrain, climbing heights, observation and firing – using artillery, tanks and helicopters.”

“Few units conduct drills with this layout,” he continued. “I can say that so far the soldiers have performed exceptionally.”

“This exercise is of great importance, because it tests the many capabilities of the fighters,” said the commander of the Iron Trails Brigade, Colonel Einav Shalev. “These include day and night walks, infiltration into enemy territory, establishing positions and more. The level and extremity of difficulty is completely different compared to previous training conducted by the unit.