Looking out from Israeli-held territory, the scrubby and rock-strewn ground pitches steeply downwards towards a patrol road and the border fence.
The current frontier with Syria – the young lieutenant points out – is about a third of the way up the opposite escarpment. And just a couple of kilometres beyond that is another ridge, which is Jordan.
This is Israel’s front line with Syria. The Syrian army was evicted from the Golan Heights when Israeli forces captured it in the 1967 Middle East war.
Israeli law was extended there in 1981 – effectively annexing this crucial strategic high ground. It is now a heavily fortified area.
We pull up alongside a platoon of Merkava tanks, key sensors and weaponry shrouded in tarpaulin covers against the winter damp.
Once things were fairly simple here. Israel faced the Syrian army across the ceasefire demarcation lines, monitored by UN observers.
But there was almost no need for them. This was Israel’s most peaceful frontier since 1973. But the civil wars in Syria and the collapse of Syrian government control in many areas have changed all that.