"The Israeli nation is in a constant state of battle, and we may have to undertake operations of the kind we've only read about in books," Paratroopers Brigade Commander, Col. Amir Baram, told his soldiers at a brigade-level ceremony held last week in Haifa.
The ceremony concluded an intensive two-month training period that included a parachuted brigade training exercise – the first of its kind in over a decade – as well as numerous battalion exercises.
The training exercises were exceptionally challenging in intensity, both physically and mentally. Many of the battalion exercises were on days of Shabbat, without breaks. "We must maintain preparedness and readiness despite the training, since when combat breaks out, it will come as a surprise. The real challenge during wartime will be much more difficult," Col. Baram told the IDF Website.
The warning could mean that only the IDF's very top officers -- and perhaps not even they -- will know in advance of a military strike. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hinted three weeks ago that an operation against Iran is only months away.
The Brigade Commander spoke of the unfolding changes in the Arab world. Additionally, he addressed the brigade's preparedness for combat as well as routine security operations. "We are determined to defend the State of Israel – if needed, with fire and iron," assured Col. Baram.
During the ceremony that focused on the brigade's combat history and heroism, exceptional soldiers were rewarded for their achievements in the various fields. Brigade veterans were also in attendance.