My son is in training at the Nachal Brigade, and as a father, I am both proud and scared. He is a marksman, so is in the middle of scary situations at all times. I have a sense of pride in knowing that my son is working to protect Israel and is a part of a unit that he will call “family” after his service.
He is brave, and as a marksman, he will have to make life and death decisions that may have a long-term impact on his mental health.
The power of life or death in a person’s hands is one that I don’t envy.
And there’s always the threat of a ballistic missile hitting in a time of war. It’s a real possibility, and I think that it’s enough to make most parents stay up at night. I read an article earlier this week on ballistic missiles, and it gave me hope that Israel will be protected if a ballistic missile strikes.
Israel and American soldiers are practicing and preparing for a ballistic missile attack against Israel. A Juniper Cobra exercise was held for nearly a month, which simulates a missile barrage on Israel. There were 2,500 soldiers from each army taking part in the training, and it’s one of the most important for the IDF to take part in.
The drills are biennial, and this year, the two armies simulated side-by-side combat. “It’s not just about an exercise,” claims Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovitch.
Israel is very concerned about the threat of a missile barrage, and as a parent, this means I also must be concerned. If my son is on the front lines, he will be in the thick of battle as the IDF works to minimize the threat and protect citizens.
Hezbollah is a serious threat, with the group having control of short- and medium-range missiles that can hit Israel. Iran is an equal threat with intercontinental ballistic missiles that they’re developing.
The exercise is a comforting one for me because it will put the Iron Dome to the test as well as the US’s systems.
Of course, the military only reveals so much, and while real scenarios and threats are the focus, there is no elaboration as to what will be simulated.
“State and non-state actors” were the focus of the exercise. Hezbollah has the potential to launch 1,000 rockets and missiles daily, with an inventory of 100,000 – 150,000 missiles available.
It’s comforting to know that the U.S. and Israel are working together to defend against ballistic threats. The training exercise has been running since 2001, and it allows both armies to have a common understanding in the event that a war does occur that targets Israel.
The U.S. has agreed to dispatch forces if requested by Israel in much the same way that they’ve been deployed during the most recent exercise.
During these times, it’s hard not to wish for peace, as my son is in the middle of his training.
Drills and training ease my mind as a father, yet they also demonstrate the very real risk that Israel and other parts of the world are continually under.