In This War, Mineral Water Bottles Keep Soldiers Hydrated

Special report: IDF Logistic system explains supplies to Gaza, by the numbers - and how things have changed since previous campaigns.

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Tova Dvorin,

IDF forces in Gaza
IDF forces in Gaza
Flash 90

Hundreds of trucks with supplies were seen traveling toward Gaza over the past several weeks, a rare sight in daylight for vacationing Israelis. 

To explain the phenomenon, Arutz Sheva spoke with General Kobi Barak, head of the IDF's Logistics and Technology Division. 

"The IDF's Logistics system has worked extensively throughout the campaign, and even beforehand, through Operation Brothers' Keeper [the search for the abducted yeshiva boys in June - ed.]," Barak stated. 

Ensuring continuity of combat logistics was the main goal of the division during the operation. 

"We continue to provide equipment and logistical resources to the entire legion of combat units," said Barak. "We have also provided a solution for the home front command, too - to allow IDF logistics units to move more freely, as needed."

Supplies include ammunition, fuel, food, general supplies, equipment, weapons and even vehicles.

"We adapted our usual supply route to battle conditions, while applying the lessons of Operation Pillar of Defense [in 2012 - ed.], to provide a constant chain of supplies and adjust how we operate while under fire," Barak said. "In this operation we deployed our logistical network fully, and it operated like a well-oiled machine."

The constant check of supply and demand guided the division and made it more efficient and faster than before, he said.

"We took the drawbacks in previous operations and the lessons and implemented [the lessons]," added the head of the IDF Technological and Logistics Directorate for deliveries, Lieutenant Colonel Avi Katovitz.

Clear and defined criteria were used to determine the distribution of food, he added, in lessons he said were learned from failures during Operation Cast Lead. Those include shipping mineral water to combat areas; in the past, water tanks had been damaged by shrapnel, leaving soldiers dehydrated.

Since Operation Protective Edge began fifty days ago, the unit has shipped more than 600 tons of ice, 200,000 snack-and-sandwich meals, and more than a million catered meals to soldiers at the front - along with more than 300,000 bottles of water for emergencies. 

The extra food has reportedly helped efficiency and morale at the front lines considerably compared to previous operations. 

In terms of field equipment, the IDF has supplied more than 7,000 hydration packs for drinking water, about 208,000 personal hygiene kits and 78,000 extra uniforms, which were replaced weekly.

Additionally, the unit delivered some 3,500 bulletproof vests and 24,000 pairs of goggles - along with 797 rifle sights, 194 Negev rifles and 1,023 Tavor rifles.