IDF Wraps Up Massive, Multi-branch Drill Amid Concerns for Iran-Hezbollah-Syria Axis

'We are readying ourselves for the ramifications of a battlefield on multiple fronts,' says army officer.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday completed an extensive drill that included special forces as well as numerous navy and air force units.

Standing units that participated in the exercise have since returned to ongoing duties and the reservists returned home," the IDF spokesman said.

The drill began on Sunday and involved maneuvers by the Fire Division and exercises by the navy and the air force.

The air force exercises were to include pilot training on all fronts, a senior officer told Haaretz before the drill began.

We are readying ourselves for the ramifications of a multi-arena battlefield," the officer said, in a reference to the Iran-Hezbollah-Syria axis.

Many reservists were involved in the drill, though the IDF declined to provide numbers.

According to the IDF spokesman, the drill examined and practiced the interaction between different branches of the IDF under different and complex battlefield scenarios."

"The exercises included different naval units practicing support for ground forces," the spokesman said.

A senior naval officer said the exercises "reflected part of our overall preparedness."

The IDF stressed that these exercises were a scheduled part of its yearly activities, and that they are vital for maintaining the operational readiness of standing and reserve units.

The drill was commanded by Maj. Gen. Shai Avital, who heads the Depth Headquarters, the IDF branch responsible for planning and executing special operations. For the purpose of these maneuvers, Avital took on the decision-making role of chief of staff.

Some roads in northern Israel were closed during the exercises, and significant aerial and ground activity was reported in the area.

Defense establishment sources said that holding these exercises at a time of budget cuts testifies to their importance.

An IDF soldier during a military drill in the Golan Heights, Sept. 19, 2012.Credit: IDF Spokesman

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