Last Thursday, the cadets of the unit's officers course held a course conclusion final drill. For the first time, this drill took place with the full cooperation of the 309 Governance Unit. The drill took place at the training base of the IDF Central Command in Lakhish. Lieutenant Colonel Sharon Bitton, the commander of the Coordination and Liaison School, also served as the commander of the drill, along with the commander of the 309 Governance Unit and the commander of the officers course, Captain Amitay Cohen. The goal of the drill was to perform an exercise of the field activities frequently carried out by the officers at the coordination and liaison administration centers, in order to enable the cadets to readily and preparedly assume their functions as officers in the field.
For the first time, the drill took place in cooperation with the 3 subdistricts of the 309 Governance Unit (Jericho, Jerusalem Envelope and Hebron). The reserve soldiers' part of the drill began earlier on Sunday, and the prospective COGAT officers joined the reserve soldiers on Thursday. The purpose of said cooperation was to bring together the very experienced and seasoned reserve soldiers with the unit's prospective future officers, who contributed their innovation and modern perceptions and points of view. In the framework of the drill, the cadets were divided into teams, and passed through nine different stages in which they practiced situations that may occur during their current activities in the field.
The commander of the IDF Coordination and Liaison School, Lieutenant Colonel Sharon Bitton, told about the efforts invested in each and every cadet so as to prepare him/her in the best way possible for field activity. Each cadet who concludes the course knows how to communicate in three languages: Hebrew, English and Arabic.
At the end of each drill stage, the cadet who served as the commander that led the drill received from a professional officer who guided his/her drill, a feedback containing elements that should be improved and preserved. In addition, the commander of the 309 Unit and his subordinate officers also furnished their own feedbacks containing their perceptions and insights in concern with the drill activities performed by the unit's prospective officers, as per their points of views as seasoned coordination and liaison officers with many years of experience.
The cadets themselves also provided their feedbacks concerning their modus operandi, and their fellow cadets' ways of action too. One of the female cadets expressed her appreciation on the cooperation. "It's amazing how much one can learn from the senior reserve officers, they know things that I would not think about before. The mutual drill will make me a better officer, and in the future I will also know how to refer to all the nuances which they are aware to today".
The commander of the 309 Governance Unit told that the role of a COGAT Liaison and Coordination Officer is extremely muli-colored, multi-layered and irreplaceable. "A Civil Administration staff member is equal to an entire military company", says the commander of the 309 Governance Unit. "The purpose of the COGAT unit is to find a mutual dialog with the Palestinian individual, delve deep into issues and talk with the Palestinian population at eye level".
The cadets are truly excited, and all of them understand the burden they shall bear on their arms within approximately two weeks. Within a short period of time, the cadets will find themselves standing before the Palestinian population alone and without the briefing of any commander. One thing is sure, the officers of today, shall cope tomorrow with the most complex challenges in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and looking at them one can rest assured that they will perform their duties in the best manner possible.