Next year, a new coed battalion will be deployed to the southern Jordan Valley, along Israel’s border with Jordan. The new combat battalion has started to prepare for deployment, and will join the three existing coed combat units in 2018. By the end of 2018, the IDF (Zahal) aims to have 1,100 soldiers serving in coed combat battalions.
In the last years, Israel has faced a number of unpredictable threats on its borders. This has led the IDF (Zahal) to establish a unified border defense unit. “Israel has unique threats on each of its borders, and it’s our job to respond and train accordingly,” said Mordechai Kahana, Chief Combat Intelligence Officer. The unit will include field intelligence, visual intelligence, and trackers.
For 17 years, three coed battalions have helped strengthen the defense of Israel’s borders. Women joined the Israeli battlefield in 2000 with the creation of the Caracal Battalion, which is stationed along the Israeli-Egyptian border. In the past three years, the IDF (Zahal) has added two additional coed combat battalions: the Lions of the Jordan Valley Battalion, which serves in the Jordan Valley, and the Bardelas Battalion, which defends Israel’s southern border. “To give to the country and to serve in the IDF (Zahal) are rights and requirements for all men and women,” said Brig. Gen. Kahana.