Monday, January 30, 2012

Israeli paras prep for airborne strikes

The Israeli military has conducted its first full-scale parachute exercise for its airborne brigade in 15 years as part of military preparations for "any possible scenario" and "potential regional changes," including long-range assaults.

Amid the tensions sweeping the Middle East, and the possibility of a war involving Israel against Iran and Syria plus their allies Hezbollah and Hamas, that suggests the Israelis could be thinking of using paratroopers to hit key targets, such as missile launch sites and depots, inside hostile territory.

At least 1,000 paratroopers took part in the drop in the Jan. 17 Negev Desert in southern Israel, the army said.

"We're restoring a capability that we once had," the airborne brigade commander, Col. Amir Baram, declared ahead of the mass jump from U.S.-built C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

"We can't know what will happen in the changing Middle East and every Western military which respects itself needs to know how to parachute large forces, bring them together and then launch an attack."

The last time the paratroop brigade had a full-strength training drop was in 1997. Read More