The future commanders of the IDF dealed with various challenges together
“We need to understand each other in battle”
Naval officers, Infantry Corps Officers and Pilot Cadets
IDF forces that are scattered through land, sea and air sent the future generation of officials to a unique joint course. “It challenged some of our preconceptions”, say the participants “We were exposed to a whole new world”
Itay Itamar and Lilach Gonen |Photography: Yonatan Zalk
This week, members of various elite IDF forces–fighters training to become officers, naval officers and pilots were gathered at the Aviation Academy for a summit meeting between all three forces. Together, they crossed the border between the different worlds, sailed into new horizons and took off toward a common goal.
The IDF is combined of three very diverse forces who are characteristically similar, but have to know how to operate together”, says Major Imri, Commander of the Education Formation in the academy. “When you get to battle, you have to know your partners, the people standing with you and their working strategies. That is what brings you victory. It’s a great place and opportunity to show how they are related, similar and who the voice is on the other side of the communicator.
“These guys are going to lead our forces, let’s make that clear”, states Major Imri. “This group holds the brigade commanders, base commanders and maybe the future Commander of the General Branch”.
“It’s Nice to Observe Other Forces”
They usually stay within their home fields: An infantry fighter navigates on land, the sailor tours the seas and the pilot concentrates on the cockpit. “I was surprised by their lack of knowledge about each other”, admits Captain Uriel, a Commander in the Pilot Training Course and a part of the meet’s organizers. “While staying here, they got to know the people which will go into war with them, they are fighters, just like you and I. It could begin here in a colleague gathering and end somewhere in the battle field”.
During the course, mixed teams visited an underground hangar of F-15 and F-16 airplanes, and discussed various commanding issues. They even learned typical words used in each force. “They are noticing how many similarities they have”, says Major Imri. “They are in the same place in life; they have the same needs, an urge to contribute. That’s the reason they have so much to learn about each other”. Together, the participants learned how to cooperate with creativity and physical aspects and got to fly on the UH-69 Black Hawk of the ‘Southern Bells’ Squadron. Not only were they assigned to mark the aerial navigation lines, later they were also expected to complete navigations in the dessert areas.
All participants agree that there should a combined course where they could learn about each other’s commanding abilities and maybe gain new ones. “It’s nice to be exposed to other forces”, says Michal, a cadet of the naval course. “It’s very interesting to see what a pilot cadet thinks of us. How he sees us as someone who has experience in commanding, and deals with soldiers and various dilemmas”.
Who Do we trust?
“They say that the generation is deteriorating” adds Major Imri. “I really don’t agree. I believe that today, people who get drafted to become fighters have values and want to contribute and serve the country. In certain ways perhaps more than my generation and the ones before mine–back then it was clear that you will join the IDF, you had no choice. Today, when doubts come up people keep on being determined and giving their all–it’s very impressive. I think that officers today are as good as they were in the past. We expect more of them, and they give up much more, it’s noticeable in every aspect of the force”.