Border security units coming into their own

My latest article for Jane’s Defense Weekly¬†looks at a significant process underway in the IDF: The ongoing differentiation between border security units, and wartime units.

A growing number of mixed-gender battalions are being set up for the sole task of becoming expert defensive forces. These are light-infantry forces, that travel around borders in armored vehicles.

For my story, I spoke to a senior officer from the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps (CICC). CICC has taken over the IDF’s program for building up border security units.

Combat Intelligence Gathering Corps personnel pose for a photograph. (IDF)Combat Intelligence Collection Corps personnel (IDF)

CICC runs 5 battalions on Israel’s borders that gather intelligence, and now, it also has responsibility for three mixed-gender border security battalions. It is in the process of setting up a fourth battalion. The mixed-gender battalions operate on the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, building up expertise on their sectors.

Their presence helps free up conscripted forces to do much more combat training. This, in turn, serves the IDF’s central priority at this time: Improving wartime readiness.