Tank fighters
Tank fighters Flash 90

Middle East Forum in Israel head Navah Dromi today referred to the decision by Chief of Staff General Aviv Kochavi to continue the pilot experiment integrating women into armor, despite their inferiority for combat contexts revealed so far.

Dromi, who served as an armor instructor, said in her Twitter account: "I was an armor instructor. This may not be a popular opinion, but I think there's a physical difficulty that's hard to overcome unless the 105mm and 120mm shells shed their weight.

"And that's without mentioning the unpleasant situations of a mixed team within the super-tight space of a tank. I'm not sure Kochavi wanted it, but in today's world there's no choice," she wrote.

Dromi added that "Kochavi's decision is especially irritating in light of the heavy criticism raised by Major General Brick on IDF readiness. Investing in integrating women is not only problematic for many reasons we already discussed, but it's also not the right time. An army that cannot fight on two fronts cannot allow itself to engage in military/social affairs."

Chief of Staff Kochavi has been holding a series of discussions over the past few weeks regarding integrating females in tank warfare in the Border Protection System, after two Supreme Court petitions filed on the matter.

As part of the discussions, the IDF Spokesman's announcement included a thorough investigation into the achievements and results of the pilot, deepening the pilot's insights, analyzing medical data and insights from female fighters in other IDF units.

This morning the Chief of Staff concluded that the pilot indicated potential for including women in tanks in border protection missions, but also pointed out gaps in meeting required competencies.

In light of this, Kochavi stated that to complete all the data required for a correct decision, it will be necessary to proceed to the next stage in the process of examining women's integration in tanks in border protection missions.

The next stage of the experiment will be based on the following principles:

A. Determining relevant parameters for sorting data based on insights learned from the pilot experiment;
B. Expanding the scope of female combat fighters' operational experience;
C. Providing training tailored to women in the aspects of medicine, nutrition, and physical training;
D. Gendered tanks (ie. the tank crew will be of the same gender);
E. During operational activity, organizational affiliation will be the border protection system in Division 80;
F. The next step will begin during the current working year.

The IDF Spokesman stated that "at the end of the training period and operational activities, a situation assessment and decisions will be made whether to continue. All decisions will be made in light of professional and operational considerations and in accordance with the needs of the military."

Similar experiments performed by the U.S. Marine Corps revealed that all-male ground combat teams outperformed their mixed-gender counterparts in nearly every capacity in infantry integration tests.

Data collected during a months-long experiment showed Marine teams with female members performed at lower overall levels, completed tasks more slowly, and fired weapons with less accuracy than their all-male counterparts. In addition, female Marines sustained significantly higher injury rates and demonstrated lower levels of physical performance capacity overall.

Last Thursday, Osnat Levi and Noga Shina, the first female tank commanders in the IDF's history and who were trained in a pilot program to integrate women into armor, and Afik Shema, one of the officers who accompanied their training, filed a petition against Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi.

This is the second petition on this issue, after last September the young women Ohr Abramson and Maayan Halberstadt petitioned the Supreme Court to demand that they be allowed to take up combat positions in the Armored Corps.

In light of the petitions, the IDF was forced to resume discussions on the experiment's results and this morning the Chief of Staff's decision was published.

Step-stool to aid female fighters get over wall in training:

More social experiments in military history: