Paratrooper exercise - IDF Spokesperson - January 2012
A paratrooper prepares for a full-scale parachuting drill. Photo by IDF Spokesperson
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IDF Spokesperson
IDF paratroopers prepare for their first full-scale drill in 13 years. Photo by IDF Spokesperson

Some 1,000 Israel Defense Forces paratroopers participated in the Paratroopers Brigade's first complete exercise in 13 years on Tuesday.

The exercise, which took place at a base in southern Israel, came as a result of an IDF decision to reintroduce full-scale drills that mimic military operations, and comes after more than a decade during which paratroopers solely participated in less complicated parachuting practices.

According to Paratrooper Brigade Commander Col. Amir Baram, the brigade has not participated in a full-scale drill since the late 1990s, but is planning to add such operations to the IDF's military arsenal in order to prepare for "any possible scenario."

Baram also stated that the reintroduction of full-scale drills is only part of the IDF's overall preparation for potential regional changes.

"The Middle East is changing rapidly," said Baram. "Although the borders are stable, it is impossible to know what lies ahead." Baram further stated that full-scale parachuting drills were relevant mostly to more local areas.

Moreover, according to high level officers, in the case of a real battle, only 70% of the brigade will go into the battlefield, due to the difficulty of the commanding officers to control such operations. The "70% principle," which is based on a U.S. military model, is a fundamental change in the Paratroopers' procedure, as the brigade previously made use of full forces in similar operations.

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