The surprise exercise

The Eshet Battalion of the 401st Armored Brigade was called to an exercise to examine emergency mobilization procedures and test the new Windbreaker system

Date: 05/11/2012, 10:26 AM     Author: Yael Livnat

Last week, the Eshet Armored Battalion of the 401st Armored Brigade took part in an exercise simulating an emergency mobilization. The exercise also incorporated the Battalion’s reserve company.

The exercise, entitled Lord of the Rings, took place in Nabi Musa, the operational area of the Eshet Battalion. The goal of the exercise was to practice quickly moving from routine to an emergency situation. The preparations were extensive, as the Battalion was required to prepare field in the area of operations, ready all the tanks, weaponry, combat equipment, and inventory, and run procedures for the exercise itself.

Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Yorai Ben-Hur explained, “The exercise simulates multitasking, which demands an extensive outline. With many having participated in a similar exercise before, the work becomes automatic. From the soldier to the battalion commander, the operations begin from the moment the whistle blows, and from there everyone knows exactly what to do.”

The exercise itself is split into two parts. The first is a live-fire exercise and the second is a bi-lateral exercise that integrates infantry forces, the Engineering Corps, mortars, and artillery in order to simulate fighting alongside all those who would normally participate with the Battalion in large-scale operations. This is a unique battalion-wide exercise that deals with terrain that is particularly challenging for mechanized forces. At the exercise’s conclusion, the Battalion Commander will review the procedures to help maximize the Battalion’s abilities to respond to emergencies. 

For the first time, two regular companies trained alongside a reserve company. “We simultaneously called up the reserve company for a company exercise that finished with the start of the battalion exercise, with the reserve company undergoing full training,” said Lt. Col. Ben-Hur. “The company is expertly qualified, and its members are veterans of the Second Lebanon War; they are steadfast, unified warriors.”

In addition, the Eshet Battalion is equipped with the new Trophy (Windbreaker) active defense system, enabling forces to overcome concentrated fire from anti-tank weapons, providing strong survival capabilities, even in rapid combat. The commander concluded that the system performed admirably and greatly contributed to the success of the exercise.