JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Israeli Defense Forces conducted its first massive parachuting exercise in more than a decade.
It's the first time in 15 years that the IDF has held a brigade-level parachute jump, one of the largest in the brigade's history.
Paratroopers' brigade commander Col. Amir Baram said the IDF is restoring a capability it once had, a capacity they might need in the future.
Baram said with the situation changing in the Middle East, it's impossible to know what will happen.
"Every Western military which respects itself needs to know how to parachute large forces, bring them back together, and then launch an attack," he said.
The jump took place over the Negev Desert on the darkest night of the month. About 1,000 paratroopers jumped from the Israel Air Force transport planes.
Gen. Gershon Hacohen sad the drill comes as close to a real battle as it can. He said it takes a lot of courage for a soldier to stand alone at the door of the airplane and jump into the darkness. When he lands, he needs to find his fellow soldiers and prepare for battle.
The IDF has not parachuted large forces into enemy territory since 1956 during the Sinai Campaign.
This exercise reportedly follows weeks of training before the paratroopers deploy along the Lebanese and Gaza borders.
As The Jerusalem Post reported this week, the drill also comes as the IDF is preparing for the possibility of a major military operation in the Gaza Strip.