More than six decades have passed since their last operational fall, but the paratroopers do not rest on their laurels and keep their airworthiness at all times.
Over the past few weeks, the "Red Brigade" has been in the middle of a long and challenging training session, in which the hunters are practicing the whole range of scenarios that they can encounter in battle.
As part of the training, the 101st battalion, which was one of the few operational parachute jumps in the history of the IDF, will participate in a particularly challenging exercise where hundreds of fighters will fall on the battlefield, where the paratroopers will fight. am quickly recovered from the landing and attack hostile positions.
"This exercise marks a highlight in the process of maintaining the operational condition in the world of parachuting," says Battalion Commander Mordy Weiss. "It is true that the last drop by the IDF took place many years ago, but when we look at other armies in the world, including superpowers like the United States, this is an operational opportunity that they practice all the time, and even use it on the modern battlefield An army like the IDF is obliged to keep this ability, on the understanding that one day it may be necessary to use it and make it decisive. "
צילום: דובר צה"ל
Less than three months ago, a paratrooper company flew to Poland to participate in a large-scale exercise with many armies, in another step in improving the capabilities of the brigade. Even in the course of that exercise, a night dive of thousands of hunters in hostile territory took place on the ground.
In addition, the brigade added an exercise team to the exercise, which was designed to get impressions and learn from the fighting techniques of the various armies, and to draw lessons for this. "We received tools to improve the technique ourselves during the jump, and we also learned how to quickly collect the jumpers as they reached the ground, and how we could immediately switch from parachuting to combat to a decisive and offensive strike to create the enemy. "
But from the conversation that arose with the hunters who participated in the exercise, it is clear that learning between the armies was mutual. "We have done a lot of the experience of the armies that participated in the training," says Lt. Col. Weiss. "On the other hand, they have also learned from us and we have proven that the IDF really does not lag behind in the parachuting world."
"In the future, the ability to jump into enemy combat is a significant expansion of the arsenal available to our fighters and the entire army during a campaign," adds Lt. Col. Weiss it. "Moreover, in recent years we have updated and upgraded our learning materials, technology and combat theory. It is not possible to extend too much about the possibilities we have added, but you can be sure that the decline is more mysterious, powerful and will be more effective if necessary in real time. "
Besides preserving the ability to parachute, Weiss also emphasizes that the experience of hanging between heaven and earth, in total darkness, considerably strengthens the character of the soldiers. "As commander of the brigade, I try to teach my fighters the essence of the parachutist, which in my opinion is capable of taking on every operational challenge, anywhere and under any circumstances, even if the starting point of the battle is not always clear is, "he emphasizes.
"A paratrooper has to be prepared to fight in 360 degrees – whether he is reaching the enemy from the ground or landing from the air. The parachuting experience requires courage, coolness and a high level of professionalism – and these qualities enable us to fight and defeat the enemy in a face-to-face meeting. "he said.
Lt. Col. Weiss emphasizes that the same traits that he demands from a soldier in the parachute brigade have indeed been expressed during the last few weeks, during which the troops have been deployed several times in the Gaza Strip because of the intensity in the area: "In the transition from the routine of training to the state of alertness that we had to have, I once again encountered the very high power of the hunters, who knew how to translate the mental challenges they faced when training directly into the operational arena we were called to. & # 39;
"Ultimately, we train and practice our skills for these moments," he concludes. "The whole IDF and the paratrooper brigade in particular must be at the highest level of preparedness at all times to fight.Thanks to this, we will be able to get to every region as quickly as possible, to be vigilant and be prepared for every order – even if we have to come from the air. "