Israel Navy ships during last week’s exercise

In largest exercise in past decade, naval forces train for a number of routine and operational scenarios, in conjunction with the Air Force

Date: 13/05/2012, 4:10 PM     Author: Yohanan Levin, Israel Navy Website

Last week, Israel Navy commando forces carried out their largest drill in the past decade. Soldiers of the elite Shayetet 13 and the 916 Detachment, together with the Snapir unit and the Israel Air Force, practiced operational scenarios that could arise at any moment.

During the exercise, which the senior leadership of the Detachment attended, soldiers simulated a number of scenarios: neutralization of an enemy force at sea, ship malfunctions, evacuation of an injured soldier by helicopter – and all of this carried out within narrow time limits. The exercise was overseen by base commander Col. Dror Friedman, who came to evaluate the soldiers’ preparedness for such incidents.

As part of the exercise, a helicopter simulated the evacuation of a person injured at sea. The soldier quickly and efficiently transported this casualty. “The crew acted rapidly and maintained a high level of professionalism,” Lt. Amir, a ship commander, said of his soldiers’ performance in the drill.

Afterwards, the ships received envelopes with a number of scenarios simulating ship malfunctions. One such scenario was a fire in the engine room, which required the crew to abandon ship and escape onto lifeboats. The soldiers’ performance in the exercise reflected close cooperation, as well as competition between ships.

Later, the ships were deployed along the length of Israel’s Mediterranean coast. All of the sailors went on deck to witness a powerful site that had not been seen in a decade – visual proof of the size and strength of Israel’s naval strength. Lt. Amir stood with his soldiers on his ship’s deck and looked out on the naval forces. “We are here to protect the security of the State of Israel,” he remarked. “The power that the navy has is amazing. To see all of the ships together along Israel’s coasts gives us great pride and assures us that Israel’s civilians can sleep well at night.”

Returning to the base afterwards, the forces hugged Israel’s coast, so as to show the Israeli population those forces that protect its shores. “I was fortunate to see the strength of the 916 Detachment, their professionalism, speed, and determination,” Col. Friedman said at the conclusion of the exercise.

Lt. Amir agreed, saying, “We met all of the goals that we set for ourselves, the maneuvers were carried out at a good pace and we managed a large number of ships with great effectiveness.”