Windbreaker brings enlistees

Archive photo: IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

As a result of the Windbreaker’s recent success, draftees are requesting to join the 401st brigade

Date: 30/03/2011, 5:44 PM     Author: Idan Seger and Netanel Rozman

The Windbreaker system against anti-tank missiles is currently being adopted in the 401st brigade of the Armored Corps, promising more advantages than just defending tanks. In the past three draft cycles, the number of enlistees interested in serving in the brigade has almost doubled.

For every 100 spots in the brigade there are more than 200 enlistees wishing to join. The reason for its high demand, considered high for the Armored Corps, is clear. The adoption of the Windbreaker system, which proved itself earlier this month when it thwarted an RPG missile fired from the Gaza Strip, the system belonging to a tank in the 9th battalion.

The high motivation is associated, too, with the brigade’s use of the Merkava Mark IV tank, the most advanced tank in the IDF (Zahal).
“We took the subject of enlistees as seriously as it should be taken,” said commander of the brigade, Col. Einav Shalev. “The brigade’s legend precedes it and we credit the tank with that.”

The latest draft statistics show that the 401st brigade comes up noticeably often in comparison with others of the Corps. More than two thirds of enlistees who requested to join the Armored Corps requested to join the 401st brigade.

As part of the policy of balancing requests, it was decided to send some of the draftees who did not ask to be in the Armored Corps to the 401st brigade, one usually with highly motivated soldiers.

The rise in motivation to serve in the 401st brigade has partly to do with its tank, and partly to do with its latest activities. Lately, the brigade made hundreds of phone calls to its candidates for combat service and commanders visited army preparatory programs to encourage enlistees to join the Corps.