FORT HOOD, Texas- When the Israeli Defense Forces Doctrine Department sent a six-person delegation to the United States on a fact-finding mission, they decided to meet with combat veterans from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division April 16.
"We want to mostly share the lessons learned during their period [in Iraq]," said Israeli Air Force Maj. Erik Lanis, who serves in the Doctrine Department. "We want to share TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures) and learn the same things like your Army."
He said that although their military is very experienced in fighting, that their combat is not at all the same as what the U.S. military has been used to fighting. Even though they fight on a daily basis in the West Bank, Lanis said they are more interested in U.S. Army procedures during combat operation such as cordon and searches and raids.
"I don't think we are ready for a real war; we need to incorporate a combined arms maneuver like the U.S. Army," Lanis added. "We had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with majors and colonels listening to their combat experiences."
The IDF delegation traveled to Fort Leavenworth's Center for Army Lessons Learned during their tour. Their trip to Fort Hood included discussions with combat veterans in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division as well.
After a brief meeting with 2nd BCT's commander, Col. Ryan F. Gonsalves, the delegation was taken to one of the machine gun ranges on Fort Hood to meet with combat veterans with Troop B, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. during a machine gun range at Cow House Machine Gun Range.
There, the delegation was paired up with 4-9 Cav. Soldiers who have experienced different battles during their deployment to Iraq.
Troop A, 4-9 Cav.'s senior enlisted Soldier, 1st Sgt. Michael Williams, of Florence, Texas, spoke about how he and his platoon then, knew everything about their sector down to a trash pile on their streets.
"You have to know every street corner," Williams told Israeli Army Lt. Col. Avidov. "If something was different, you knew something was wrong."
As a troop commander, Capt. Christopher Dawson's learned how important the personal relationships were to not only his mission, but also for the welfare of his own Soldiers. The Lima, Ohio native told Lanis how he and his Soldiers dealt with the people in his sector to have them help themselves by driving suspicious characters out of their neighborhood.
"Over there, actions speak louder than words," Dawson told Lanis.
Lanis, who is the only Air Force officer who serves in the IDF, said trying to think like a ground fighter is foreign to him. However, it is his job to learn how ground troops think.
"It's difficult to work with ground troops," he said. "You have the experience, but for me, it's very important for us to employ a combined arms force."
While a couple of delegates spent their brief time shooting the M240 with the Troop B Soldiers, Israeli Army Maj. Jonathan Conricus, said he enjoyed his discussions. "We know how busy coming back from Iraq and getting ready to go back is. So, we appreciate the time all the officers and NCOs (noncommissioned officers) gave us.'
'To get two professional organizations such as the IDF and the U.S. Army together to share ideas and solutions in similar situations like Iraq and the Gaza Strip is important - overall, it was a good visit."