By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
JERUSALEM- Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, together with the IDF’s General staff, have decided to name the new IDF training center in the Negev after Former Minister of Defense and Major-General Ariel Sharon, an IDF spokesperson announced. The IDF is moving all its training facilitates from around the center of Israel to one central base in the Negev. Tzrifin near Rishon Letzion, the current location of most the training bases, has a high land value and is gradually being sold to civilian contractors.
Elucidating on the decision, the spokesman pointed out Sharon’s crucial contribution to the building of the IDF’s force, serving as a frontline commander in many of Israel’s wars, and later serving as a role model for generation of officers in training.
Sharon, as prime minister, made the decision to develop the Negev, and as part of this strategic plan ordered the move of all of the IDF’s training facilities from the center to the southern Negev.
The new training center, unofficially termed Ir HaBahadim – city of training bases, is currently under construction and is to become operable at the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015. The project will create the Negev’s third-largest city, after Dimona and Beersheva. Once at full capacity in 2015, the Ir Habahadim base will hold 10,000 army personnel and 2,500 civilian staff on a typical day.