Reservists conduct bilateral training in the north

“Iron Fist” armored brigade trains with Humvees, APCs on its home turf – the Golan Heights

Date: 21/07/2011, 6:13 PM     Author: Daniella Bokor

For many years, bilateral training exercises with Humvees and armored personnel carriers have been held at the IDF (Zahal)’s tactical training center. Reservists are divided into groups on the sands of Tzelim in southern Israel and a makeshift battlefield is built. Strategy and maneuvering are the name of the game.

Until now, these training exercises had only been conducted in southern Israel. But in recent weeks, this training method made it all the way to the Golan Heights in northern Israel. The “Iron Fist” armored brigade, which would operate on the northern front during an emergency, had the opportunity to conduct the unique training style on its home turf.

“This training has double significance,” said Lt. Col. Amir Epstein, the head of the tactical training center’s armored section. “First, in terms of the fighters, the reservists get to know the territory. They get to know the ground on which they will fight. They study the topography, obstacles and challenges of the Golan Heights. It is difficult to simulate these conditions at Tzelim. And also, this is the first time we are simulating a bilateral exercise along with the operative conditions.”

Lt. Col. Epstein and head of the “Iron Fist” Brigade Col. Meir Bar-Meir agreed that the new training had significant advantages and the results were evident.

“I can say with certainty that the brigade carried it out well and in the most realistic conditions,” said Lt. Col. Epstein. “There is no doubt that [the brigade] will succeed in wartime.”

“During an emergency, this will be an advantage for us,” said Col. Bar-Meir. “We will have good knowledge of the ground and the manner of fighting.”