“The Best Ground Defense Division in the IAF”
The competition that was held this year focused on all the topics and areas that the Ground Defense Division combat soldiers have to be skilled in, such as shooting, self-defense and dog-training The ground defense divisions of different airbases competed over the past two days for the title of “The Best Ground Defense Division in the IAF”. Shooting ranges, trivia and dog-training competitions are only some of the challenges the divisions faced
A tense, competitive atmosphere enveloped the IAF School for Infantry and Ground Defense. The yelling and cheering of dozens of ground defense divisions and departments from different IAF airbases that gathered at the school could be heard from afar. The goal: to check which division is the best in the IAF and to win first place in the Ground Defense Division competition.
“The competition today has several important goals”, explains Major Roy Kimchi, Head of the Readiness and Fitness Department. “The first goal is to test the fitness of the different divisions and to increase it. Also, this is based on mutual learning”.
“It’s a holiday for us. The division came here at the height of its professionalism”, adds Major Avihu Lugasy, Ground Defense Division Commander at the Hatzor airbase. Thirty of the combatants from the division he commands intensely trained over the past month in order to win the title. The competition that was held this year focused on all the topics and areas that the Ground Defense Division combat soldiers have to be skilled in, such as shooting, self-defense and dog-training. “I believe that we will be very strong in the areas of tracking, fence-breaking and shooting under pressure”, says Major Lugasy. “We have come here pumped with motivation and ready to give it our all to win”.
The competition is of great importance, especially for the organizers and the participants. “A division that prepares appropriately will be more ready and fit for its day-to-day missions”, adds Lieutenant Colonel David Partush, Head of the Ground Defense Division in the Security Department of the IAF. “It improves the response of the division to real events at its airbase and that’s how we benefit”.
“We protect the base every day”
For the combatants of the Ground Defense Division, IAF bases are the gem they have to protect at all times, a mission that is by no means simple. “The job of the division is especially hard. The daily routine is affected by external events such as accidents or infiltration attempts”, explains Major Kimchi. “It’s like a goalie: he doesn’t get the glory of a player and is judged by his failures. The combatants guard the base every day and it is taken for granted, but it shouldn’t be”. In his opinion, the division has undergone many changes and advanced, even in terms of technology. “We have innovative systems that produce observations during the day and at night, tracking dogs that are trained to determine whether there has been an infiltration and reach the terrorist and vehicles that are adjusted for our tasks”.
The competition might just be the highlight of the service of the Ground Defense Division. And who were the winners? From the group of big units, Nevatim airbase won and from the group of small units – the Northern Regional Control Unit from Miron base.