The Israeli Navy's entire fleet of missile boats and submarines and all of its naval commandos last week took part in a large-scale exercise in the northern arena.
The drill's scenario began with an undercover operation at sea, continued with discovery by the enemy — including the involvement of the elusive, elite Shayetet 13 unit, and ended in an exchange of fire that lasted until the targets were destroyed.
This is the second time in recent years that the IDF has drilled for a scenario in which an activity spirals into an escalation.
The exercise is part of plans to increase the IDF's preparedness for a situation in which a secret operation is exposed or elicits a counter-attack, which leads to an escalation.
The exercise comes following multiple IDF attacks in the northern arena over the last 12 months, as Israel moved to stop Hezbollah receiving advanced weapons and prevent an Iranian military buildup in Syria, incidents that resulted in return rocket fire into Israel.
The most recent incident of this nature came about a month ago, when Israel shot down an Iranian missile over the Golan Heights, following an attack on an advanced weapons shipment at Damascus Airport, which was attributed to Israel.
A similar training scenario was used two weeks ago at annual exercises by the Israel Air Force and the US Army air defense forces, which are intended to help Israel in real time.
During the two-day exercise, the two forces trained in a wide swath of the Mediterranean Sea running parallel to the Israeli coast from Haifa to Ashdod.
According to foreign reports in recent years, including the Sunday Times, Israeli naval submarines have carried out secret strikes on targets in Lebanon.
"In response to enemy fire, we operated several platforms, including the Air Force, to simulate causing maximum damage to enemy targets," said Israeli naval officer Lt. Col. Simeon Gamburg.
"It was a mixed scenario, using various forces operating from a number of locations and controlled by one command post. A naval force pretended to be the enemy and acted against us in a coordinated manner that challenged us during the decision-making process."