The northern half of the line on the Golan Heights was held by a tank battalion commanded by Lt. Col. Yair Nafshi. The day he assumed command the year before, he announced to the men his intention to focus on gunnery. The only way to overcome the numerical superiority of the Syrian tanks opposite them, he said, was to shoot faster and straighter. Turning to a gunner, he asked, "How long would it take to hit three tanks coming straight at you at 1,200 meters?" Four minutes, the gunner replied. Others thought they could do it in half that time. Not even a minute, said Nafshi. He let the laughter die down before saying he would demonstrate.
As the men walked with him to a nearby gunnery range, he briefed a crewman on a borrowed tank on how he wanted him to load the shells. The men sat on the ground to watch the demonstration, some of them holding stopwatches. The tank commander gave Nafshi, in the gunner's position, the order to fire. Nafshi hit three tank targets, spaced 50 yards apart, with three rapid shots and jumped down from the tank. The stopwatches showed less than 10 seconds.
Gunnery proficiency became the unit's hallmark. Nafshi cultivated "snipers" who could hit their targets at long range. He had them wear gray uniforms instead of standard green to give them special status. Tanks which scored hits on Syrian tanks during skirmishes had tank silhouettes pasted to the side of their turrets to indicate their "kills".