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December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘combat’

Rare Look into IDF Simulated Takeover of Hezbollah Post (Video)

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The IDF has released an exclusive video that offers a rare glimpse into advanced combat training to defend Israel against Hezbollah.

The footage shows the elite Combat Engineering Battalion 601 in a simulated takeover of a Hezbollah position. The simulation prepared soldiers for the moment of truth against Hezbollah, simulating the takeover of a terrorist stronghold and an attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

Hezbollah continues to arm itself with long-range missiles and other weapons capable of striking any part of Israel. The terrorist army in southern Lebanon, armed by Syria and Iran and financed by Tehran, has an estimated 80,000-100,000 missiles.

The Israeli Air Force has carried out pre-emptive bombings of several convoys of advanced Soviet-made missiles that were destined for Hezbollah from Syria.

The IDF has developed sophisticated methods to stop Hezbollah, whose size and strength have grown dramatically since the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006.

“The best way to maintain our readiness and remain sharp is to train,” said the battalion’s commander, Lt. Col. Yanai Manor. “We try as much as possible to simulate events that could occur in reality.”

Creme De La Creme: How the IDF Picks its Most Elite Units

Monday, August 12th, 2013

After another round of nationwide enlistment, the time has come to find soldiers for the Israeli army’s most elite units. In order to be selected among the truly great, soldiers must pass intensive examinations – both mental and physical. We approached Major Danny Ben Dov, the man in charge of physical selections and unit placement for infantry and paratroopers, to learn what it takes to be listed among the best of the best.

elite7 You’ve heard about the units: the Yahalom combat engineers, Duvdevan – the unit responsible for conducting undercover operations against militants in urban areas and Oketz – the elite canine special forces unit. Behind these special units lies a complex placement process. Whether you want to curl up with a German Shepherd, maneuver an advanced UAV, or operate behind enemy lines – the path to achieving this goal is laden with potential pitfalls.

elite5

In recent months a new slew of soldiers has reached bases across the country in order to begin their basic training. However, before they could finish lacing up their military boots, practicing telling military time, and getting ready for their first shifts of guard duty, the IDF transfers a select few for special assignments reserved for the very best.

Most units open their doors to potential new recruits, however these young soldiers should take time to seriously consider the proposal, as beyond the acceptance are arduous physical and mental tests specifically designed to push the soldier to the limit.

For those looking to find the secret key to acceptance into these coveted units, the head of physical selections for IDF special units explains which features and attributes assist in weeding out the weak and singling out potential candidates.

“I am responsible for approving all units’ selections based on physical criteria in the IDF,” said Maj. Ben Dov. “Certain elite units have particular standards and requests for potential soldiers. They require special characteristics and have a very specific screening process for accepting soldiers into their units.”

However, contrary to what one might think – that all elite units have the same selection criteria – Maj. Ben Dov clarifies that not all unit classifications and soldier requirements are identical to one another.

“The placement of each soldier is chosen based on the nature of the unit itself and the type of combat soldier the unit is looking for,” explained Maj. Ben Dov. The process itself is intricate and includes discussions with the unit’s commanders as well.

“The commanders build their selection process by consulting with us, and then we go through the military’s professional instructions and general requirements,” said Maj. Ben Dov. “Part of the varying features we look for are determination and motivation.”

Though physical requirements come most immediately to mind when discussing elite combat units, Maj. Ben Dov maintains that physical strength is not the most significant part in the selection process.

“During the selection process, there are sprinting exercises, lifting exercises and other physical tests, but the main thing is not so much the physical part itself,” he said. “We are looking to see the person after the physical aspect, following these tests. There are all kinds of thinking exercises and lengthy discussions, allowing us to see the candidate’s abilities to think quickly and express him or herself clearly.”

Maj. Ben Dov summarized by explaining that throughout the entire selection process, it is imperative for one to be true to his or her personality traits. “It is important for potential examinees to come prepared both physically and mentally, but most important is to be your true self, because, through the various exercises, we eventually peel through the false stories and get to the true nature of the soldier.”

Female IDF Officer Upgrades Diet & Exercise

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Speaking at the International Women’s Conference sponsored by Stand With Us, IDF Officer Lieutenant Colonel Shirly Subul, a resident of Tel Aviv, said she had the aspiration to serve Israel in the armed forces since age 4. She currently serves in the IDF combat fitness department, where she has personally transformed the Lifestyle Branch, which is responsible for army athletics and encouraging Israeli soldiers to live a healthy life-style, into one of the most influential branches in the IDF.

She was a professional athlete as a teenager but put her athletic dreams on hold in order to serve the State of Israel. In March of 1993 she served in the intelligence unit and continued on to officers training course. Later on she served in the foreign relations department of the intelligence department. During the Second Lebanon War, Lt. Subul’s best friend Anat was murdered in a suicide bombing and she spent five weeks in an underground bunker as the head of the operations division. Her army career took a different direction when she transferred to the combat fitness department. There Lieutenant Colonel Subul sought to combine her passion for serving Israel with her love of athletics and sports.   

Lieutenant Colonel Subul places special emphasis on IDF commanders, believing that their physical condition has a great effect on the army as a whole. Subul is also known for whipping high ranking officers into better shape and has even put obese Israeli commanders on a six month program of diet combined with exercise. In order to keep Israeli soldiers in shape, she has organized four marathons and is planning a fifth. Subul also organizes swimming and bicycling sessions and has special programs for women.

Subul also has a BA in gender studies and sociology from Tel-Aviv University and was a pioneer in this field. As a female IDF officer, Lieutenant Colonel Subul emphasized that women serving in the IDF enjoy full gender equality, stating that 92 percent of the positions within the IDF are open to women, nearly 59 percent of Israeli women enlist to serve, representing 33 percent of the IDF’s manpower, and that the number of female IDF officers continues to rise. Israel is the only country in the world to have mandatory military service for women. “There are so many opportunities for women in the Israeli Defense Forces,” she claimed. Israeli women can be found in the artillery corps, armored divisions, infantry and intelligence units.

Visit United with Israel.

Israeli ‘Profiling’

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Profiling is a reality in Israel.Yes, we profile people as they quickly pass through checkpoints, malls, restaurants, even in the cars that pass us. After Arab tractor drivers began ramming their vehicles into buses and Israeli civilians, we began profiling the tractor drivers too. The profiling is done in seconds. The army  has its own rules and recommendations; bus passengers have theirs; we all do. What is the possibility that the person getting on the bus is going to blow it up – once that was a major issue; today, thanks to massive, on-going intelligence work, the Security Fence that separates Palestinians from Israelis, and vigilant guards, this thought is in our minds less and less – but it is still there.

Years ago, a woman was on a bus in Tel Aviv and an Arab got on the bus; everything inside of her said he was a terrorist. Without thinking, without hesitating, she got off the bus. Feeling silly because she would now need to wait for another bus to take her to work, she turned for a second and then heard a huge explosion – just one block away, the bus she’d been on had been attacked by the terrorist she correctly profiled.

I don’t know why I wrote all this – it isn’t the profiling I wanted to talk about – the one I wanted to write about is the profiling we do of our own sons as they enter the army. There is a concept in Judaism that we strive to be perfect, knowing we’ll never get there. God is perfect – the rest of us…we try to emulate God in all we do, knowing we’ll never succeed but will be rewarded for the effort.

I cringe when I hear parents say they have a perfect child – no child is perfect…nor is any human being. One of the things I love about Israel is the army rating system. They have to choose which sons can go into combat units and which ones cannot. They do this with a profile – a rating system. It ranges from down in the 20s (these will be given a deferral and not have to serve) up through the 70s where they participate in the army in non-combat roles. Somewhere in the low 70s, they are borderline combat and up on the 90s, it’s only a question of which unit, and their agreement.

The highest score is not 100 – that would mean perfection. I don’t know if it is true, but I heard once that they deduct 3 points from boys because they are circumcised and 3 points from girls because they have a menstrual cycle. It isn’t that either of these are bad (in fact, they are very good), but it’s as good a reason as any…and so, the top score you can get is 97.

Davidi came to my office a while ago – I was so glad to see him. I didn’t realize how much I wanted/needed to see him until he came in – just as I was finishing a class. “97″ he told me and I remembered how Elie and Shmulik had told me the same. It’s a blessing, that high score…a blessing…and a bit of a curse. The first thing the army thinks of with a 97 is – here’s a combat soldier, where should we put them.

What’s nice is that they ask. There’s no use forcing a boy into a combat unit if they aren’t willing to make the commitment. There is a discipline he must follow; a way of life he must learn. With that simple question, he is agreeing to follow orders, to sleep when he is told to sleep, to use the allocated amount of time to do each task. He’s committing to three months of basic training, perhaps more and then more training, and then more. Davidi told them he agreed to go into a combat unit. He told them he wants to be a paramedic.

He didn’t tell them that I want him to go into Artillery – where you fight …. so many kilometers behind the front lines. He didn’t tell them that I’m holding on, not wanting him to rush into what he will do and where he will go. The boy returned to me today – he played on the computer in my office and told me he was hungry.

We laughed about some of the things – the computer test, the medical parts, and the physical examination. He turned a bright shade of red when I joked about the 97, “how do they know? Do they check?”

And he answered, “yes” as he looked towards the front of my office to make sure our secretary couldn’t hear the conversation.

I had no idea the physical examination was…so physical and yes, he was circumcised when he was 8 days old, as is our tradition. He was given the name of his grandfather who had died almost exactly a year before Davidi was born. His grandfather was a Holocaust survivor, whose grandsons will be fighters in the army of Israel. David Levi couldn’t raise a weapon to the Nazis, though he fought back in so many little ways.

I can’t help but believe he is watching my Davidi from the heavens and I know he would be so proud of this so-tall, so-beautiful boy.

Today, my son was profiled. 97….

May God watch over my son, my sons, all the soldiers of Israel and may they be protected, with the names and in the names of their grandfathers.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/israeli-profiling/2013/01/15/

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