Reservists during the exercise
Reservists during the exerciseIDF Spokesperson's Unit

Hundreds of reservists serving in the regional defense battalion of the Ephraim Brigade took part this week in the first exercise its kind whose aim is to train them to better defend Israel.

The troops practiced shooting, using weapons, and urban warfare. As the Ephraim Brigade includes western Samaria, any future fighting is expected to be in mainly built-up areas.

The battalion is made up of reservists who live for the most part in the communities in the area and their purpose is to protect their communities in times of emergency. The battalion is divided up into several platoons, which each platoon specializing in a different kind of mission, including peripheral security, protecting roads, and dealing with terror infiltrations.

"Our goal is to strengthen the operational readiness of the battalion for its operational mission, to prepare for the expected training and to train for operational fitness," said Battalion Commander Lt. Col. (res.) Udi Lahav,

"All the commanders and soldiers who are here, left their homes behind and came to practice fighting in a built-up area and fighting terrorism. This is our first training as a battalion and we will continue to train and act in order to be ready for any scenario."