As the Jewish New Year approaches, we reflect on the greatest advances in the IDF (Zahal) over the past year. Here are our top six:
The Creation of the Commando Brigade
In order to improve effectiveness of IDF (Zahal) special operations, four elite units were combined into a single brigade. The ability to jointly instruct soldiers from Egoz (anti-guerrilla warfare), Duvdevan (urban counter-terror), Rimon (desert reconnaissance), and Maglan (classified), allows for a quick response to all types of threats regardless of the complexity of the situation.
Change in attitude towards Gender and Gender Identity
Over the past year, the Women’s Affairs Advisor to the Chief of Staff (Yohalan) Unit has undergone changes to become the Gender Affairs Advisor to the Chief of Staff (Yohalam) Unit. The unit has begun dealing with issues regarding gender and gender identity as well as the rights of parents in the army, including single parents, same-sex couples, and non-traditional families. The unit continues to address pressing women’s issues such as the integration of women into combat, fighting sexual assault and harassment, and promoting equal opportunities for female soldiers.
First Israeli F-35I Fifth Gen Stealth Fighter Jet Revealed
On June 22nd, the first Israeli F-35 fighter jet was revealed in Fort Worth, Texas. In December, the first two planes will cross the Atlantic Ocean and join the Israeli Air Force fleet. The new technology in the jets far outpaces that found in the IAF’s current F-16’s and F-15’s and will allow the IDF (Zahal) to vastly expand our defensive abilities.
Two Naval Missiles Pass Operational Tests With Flying Colors
The Barak 8 surface to air missile and the Tamir-Adir missile interceptor system both passed operational tests this year, and are prepared to enter active service. Together, these two systems will defend against short and long range threats to the Israeli Navy and Israeli assets at sea.
Expansion of “Roim Rachok” program
Since 2013, dozens of volunteers on the autism spectrum have drafted to the intelligence unit 9900 through the IDF (Zahal) program. This year the Ordnance Corps opened their doors to the volunteers. The men were trained in social and specialty skills and then drafted to optics and electronics.
IDF (Zahal) Revamps Draft Process For Bedouin Soldiers
In a move to better integrate Bedouin soldiers, the IDF (Zahal) created a special three month Hebrew course that opens up a greater variety of potential job placements. Previously, Bedouin soldiers primarily drafted to the Bedouin Trackers Unit or to the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion. This change ensures that after the army, Israeli Bedouins will be better equipped for their civilian lives after their service.