Fearing Syria war, Gantz holds surprise drills (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ 04/01/12)
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Fearing a future war with Syria, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny
Gantz held a surprise drill inspection of two key military bases in
northern Israel on Sunday to ensure that they will be able to
continue operating in the event of significant missile attacks.
Commanders at the bases - one a critical ammunition depot and the
other a key maintenance base for IDF armored vehicles - were
surprised when Gantz and other senior officers arrived at the´ gates
of their bases to review operations there.
A senior IDF officer who participated in the inspections said that
they were aimed at ensuring the military´s readiness for a wide range
of scenarios including possible war with Syria as well as additional
border demonstrations like those held over the weekend.
"Our assumption is that both of these bases will come under major
missile fire in a future war and nevertheless, soldiers there will
need to know how to continue to operate," the officer said.
The officer said that commanders and soldiers at both bases had
invested in digging trenches as well as the construction of various
reinforced structures throughout the bases that could be used to
Surprise inspections like those conducted on Sunday have become
Gantz´s trademark since he took up the post as chief of staff in
February 2011. In October, for example, on the eve of your Yom
Kippur, Gantz held a drill in the North during which he scrambled
various units to ensure that they could be quickly mobilized if a war
Another example was a few months ago when at the end of a visit to
the Ramon Air Force Base in the South, Gantz announced that the
Syrian Air Force had infiltrated Israeli airspace and was on its way
to bomb targets in the South.
Gantz stood by, watching the clock as fighter jets were scrambled and
pilots suited up and jumped into their cockpits. He called off the
surprise drill only after the jets were already on the runway and
about to take off.
Gantz has explained that the objective of the drills is to help
create a new mindset within the IDF according to which Israel needs
to be prepared for the possibility that war could erupt without
warning, particularly in light of the ongoing upheaval sweeping
throughout the Middle East. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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