“The presence of Islamic extremists in the Sinai Peninsula increases the risk of potential terror attacks on our borders.” These words, spoken by Regional Brigade Commander Col. Yehuda Hacohen on the Egyptian border, are representative of one of the most imminent threats facing both the IDF (Zahal) and Israeli citizens.
During a recent ceremony celebrating 10 years since the inception of the mixed gender Caracal Battalion, commanders and soldiers alike gathered on the Egyptian border where the battalion has guarded the frontier for the last decade.
“On one hand, the enemy is not always visible,” summarized Gen. Roy Alkabetz, the Southern Division Commander. “On the other, the area remains deceptive and highly flammable.”
“We must provide a fast and strong response against the enemy. The battalion stands by these standards. It was proven during a recent event two months ago in which the soldiers showed courage, made contact with the enemy, and accomplished their mission,” added Gen. Alkabetz.
Brigadier General Sami Turgeman, Commander of the IDF (Zahal) Southern Command, was also present during the ceremony. “During the last 10 years, the Caracal Battalion has gained valuable combat experience and has been appreciated in every front it was present. Its achievements speak for itself,” he said. While speaking directly to the soldiers he asserted, “You have become a special unit; you are specialists in the security missions alongside the Egyptian border.”
The successes achieved by the Caracal Battalion encouraged the army to open a new mixed gender battalion, the Lions of the Jordan.