How to prepare women - Tank control instructors
At 5:30 in the morning dozens of soldiers throw the bags in the trunk of the bus on the Tel Aviv station. After another hour and a half things are taken out in Beersheba and shifted to another bus. The next four hours we'll go from Beersheba in the neighborhood of Eilat, at the military base of tank forces "Shizafon".
On this day, on the basis, in addition to the usual routine, were exercises for the participants of the course instructors-armored troops. Yes, it is the participants: 34 girls srochnitsy trained in a special program for 8 months, then to teach men to drive a tank, aim, charged shells, cleaned it and repaired. In general, preparing soldiers who subsequently go on the battlefield.
Women are not allowed to serve in combat tank units - too bad for the health of carrying heavy shells, being in a small confined space, etc .. However, women instructors in armor does not feel "for fun".. 8 months, day after day, they listen to lectures officers learn the principles of work and a tank unit and learn to manage it, to direct weapons to target and never miss. By the end of the girls become real Tank Girl, being able to share their knowledge and skills with the men.
At 11 am I was at the military base. The short procedure for checking the press card, and I was shaking in come for me to move the base army jeep. Sitting next to the commander (bossy?) Course instructors captain Liron Keyser. I already admire, looking at this beautiful girl in a dusty overalls, which not only knows the tank, like the five fingers, but also can outdo any youngster recruits, regardless of its men's ambitions. Through five minutes, we drove up to one of the landfills, shooting ranges "Shizafona", the largest Israeli tank base. Here, everything is ready for the upcoming exercises, life boils. A little further, a man trained in target shooting, another group of exactly the right number of "park" three tanks, officers course convene trainees under the tent to receive instruction before training "combat mission". The crew of an Israeli tank "Merkava" consists of four members: commander, gunner, driver and loader. Each of the 34 course participants at the very beginning had its own specialization, and in the course of the exercise performed their narrow crew member duties.
After receiving instructions and good luck, 18-year-old novobranki (on the course they are still only a few weeks), begin to prepare. First and foremost, you must cry out a few chants, drop a few flasks, braid pigtails each other and eat cookies. Girls are girls. However, where all of this carelessness disappear when Liron gives final instructions: "All participants of the course are divided into crews, each crew must hit the target, the job is not complete until the target is struck, the job should always be completed."
One after another, Tank Girl jump into the their tanks and get ready for shooting at targets, barely rising above somewhere on the horizon. The officer next to the table where I was standing, giving orders: "The first tank fired". A few seconds delay - boom! - around the tank of dust and cries of joy watching - hit! "The second tank fired", "the third tank fires" and so long as each of the girl students not to participate in the exercise.
Women in Israel - such as military service, as well as men. They (more correctly, perhaps, it would be to say right now - we are) allowed to serve 83% of IDF troops. Not all the selected service in combat units, and prefer a more leisurely two years in non-combat units, offices of the General Staff, if not alternative service in hospitals, educational institutions, voluntary organizations and so on. D. However, there are Israeli woman, seemingly still very young and skinny girls who are proud to be recorded in Tank Girl, infantry fighting, the border police (the magician), and so on.. These girls are mostly far from the extreme ideas of feminism, and hang M- 16 over his shoulder, not in order to "uest" neighbor-man. And they do it mostly because they can. They can do what they think is useful to themselves, their country, as well as simply because it is more interesting than two years, shifting the papers in the next gray office of the Ministry of Defense.
Whether it's tanks and airplanes, if not combat infantry battalion "Caracals" in which women are equal to men, thousands of Israeli women, men do not get from this neighborhood less feminine. Scary machine that easily frighten even many men, only emphasize their amazing charm and the ease with which to drive a tank capable only of a woman.