Daily Israel Report

IDF Drills 'Yom Kippur Surprise' in North

Two entire reservist brigades were called up by surprise to test readiness. 38 years ago, it was not a drill.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/6/2011, 9:25 PM

The IDF completed a drill Thursday in which it conducted a surprise call-up of reservists in northern and central Israel.

The IDF Website reported that the drill was led by the Control Department in the General Staff under the direction of the Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, which sent surprise immediate call-up notices to an entire brigade in Central Command and another brigade in Northern Command.

The exercise was successfully completed and all in all, the website reported, there was a 90% rate of compliance among soldiers and a 100% rate among commanders.

The brigades were instructed to transport the soldiers from their homes if they are not able to make it to the command headquarters on their own. The exercise ended Thursday afternoon and lasted about 24 hours.

Lt. Gen Gantz summed up the exercise and said: "In a situation as unstable as ours, we must make sure that our forces are in a high state of readiness, and aspire to the highest state of readiness."

The exercise's timing, one day before Yom Kippur, could be coincidental, but is a reminder of what happened when the IDF was caught off-guard by an Egyptian and Syrian joint attack, executed 38 years ago on Yom Kippur, 5734 (1973). The IDF suffered heavy losses before it was able to stem the Arab attack and soundly defeat the invaders.