IDF soldiers usually train in navigation at special bases designed for navigation exercises. However, one commander has decided to do things differently, and is preparing his soldiers by taking them through a real city – the historic Old City of the city of Akko in northern Israel.
Major Omer Levin told Arutz Sheva that the goal is for soldiers to learn how to navigate Arab cities and marketplaces in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The soldiers need to learn to navigate in a populated area, Levin believes.
In order to teach them, he had them navigate through a densely populated, majority-Arab neighborhood of Akko. “The characteristics and the navigation itself are similar to our combat style,” he explained.
“We reached the conclusion that we cannot create a facsimile for this kind of combat even at the best training base,” he said. “So we went out to navigate in the city, to be exposed to the route of the road, the smells, and the way of life.”
He noted that his unit is meant to lead a tank brigade in case of conflict. “In an emergency we are meant to provide intelligence for the brigade’s tanks, before the first tank reaches the combat zone,” he said.
The unit was stationed in the Samaria (Shomron) town of Itamar until recently, and will be returning to the town in another two weeks.
In the meantime, the soldiers are undergoing additional training.