"The purpose of the exercise was to reestablish the regimental parachuting capabilities within the IDF's skills arsenal," army officials said.
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According to the IDF, the brigade's officers learned parachuting skills from US Army paratroopers, who have conducted live operations on a similar scale in Afghanistan. The last Israeli paratrooper operation took place 56 years ago, during the Suez Crisis in Egypt.
Troops aboard Hercules (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
After diving out of the IAF's Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft in the night and landing in the southern Israeli Tze'elim training area, the fully armed troops navigated to a simulated enemy site, where the practiced combat.
The soldiers trained on the "70 principle," which was adopted from the US Army and requires the troops to move towards the designated destination within 70 minutes of landing, as soon as 70% of the forces have touched ground."The reality in the Middle East changes often," said Colonel Amir Bar’am, the brigade's commander. "The borders are stable but you can never know what's going to happen a few years down the road.
Nighttime navigation (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
"Any self-respecting western army has these capabilities. Regimental parachuting is crucial especially in the first hours of a battle, when one wants to surprise the enemy," he explained.
Four soldiers were taken to the hospital after sustaining injuries upon landing; two of them broke legs.
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