Israeli Military Unit Improves With Age

Israel 7th Armored
The 7th Armored Brigade has made a revolutionary change to its training procedures.

The unit took top prize in a competition conducted by the Ground Forces Headquarters, which included every combat unit in the IDF. The prize was awarded for innovation in training and quality of performance.

“We continue to prepare for war. We must always remember that the real test is on the battlefield, not in competitions,” said 7th Armored Brigade Commander Col. Oded Basyuk.

The Brigade celebrated the prize with further training and exercises with the companies and battalions.

“We have, in fact, changed the training process over the course of the last year and a half,” Col. Basyuk said. “We have changed the focus and the way we drill mechanized units. We have arrived at a new training pattern, effective from the level of squads and companies all the way up to the Brigade, involving new methods in new areas. The process is very important and has had a significant impact on the unit.”

Col. Basyuk also referred to the changes taking place on the battlefield and how the armored brigades are coping with these changes. The primary emphasis has been fighting on the various arenas in which the IDF operates, with each area demanding a different approach.

“There is always the dilemma of reality versus expectations, and we are looking to prepare for it properly,” Col. Basyuk said. “We are trying to analyze the primary changes on the battlefield, and figure out how best to simulate it and create a scenario that best approximates the enemy's capabilities, and what they can do in operations in Gaza and Lebanon.”

The 7th Armored Brigade is the oldest armored unit in the IDF, and the only one that has been in operation since the Independence War. Despite the Brigade using the oldest tanks still in use in the IDF, the Merkava 2, it has continued to prove itself in the field with the award won this week is proof of the Brigade's effectiveness.

“During the Second Lebanon War, I commanded the 82nd Battalion (of the 7th Armored Brigade), where I fought alongside more advanced tanks,” Col Basyuk said. “In the end, I don’t think it’s the type of tank that determines success. The 7th Brigade has proven throughout its history that it can accomplish any task in the best way possible.”

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