Today, the IDF (Zahal) announced the opening and laid the cornerstone of Snir, an advanced training facility located on Israel’s northern border. The new training base will serve soldiers from various units training in all forms of modern combat, including underground and urban warfare. The base is part of a multi-year plan to revamp the IDF (Zahal) Ground Forces training facilities.
The Snir Training Facility is the first of four planned advanced training facilities. Another two will be built in central Israel. A fourth will be build in Israel’s south. “It’s an infrastructural revolution in ground forces training,” said a senior IDF (Zahal) official responsible for the project.
The objective of the new training facilities is to train IDF (Zahal) ground forces for 21st century threats.
The first of the four advanced training facilities is being built to replicate a Lebanese village, due to the significant threat Hezbollah poses on Israel’s northern border. “The facility gives us the ability to insert soldiers and recreate the exact circumstances they will find themselves in during a real war,” he said.
The mock Lebanese village includes multiple entrances, an underground tunnel system, enemy rocket launchers, and soldiers trained to copy Hezbollah tactics and capabilities. While designing the facility, planners took into the account the new weapons and capabilities Hezbollah has received from Iran. “Its one of the most significant developments in the IDF (Zahal) over the next couple years,” the official said.
Over the past couple years, Hezbollah has refined their tactics while fighting in Syria, and have acquired advanced Iranian weapons. “The goal is to build a training facility that reflects the modern challenges we face,” the official explained.
The Snir Training Facility provides the ability to train in ways beyond what the IDF (Zahal)’s current modern warfare training center offers. In addition, the ability to use live fire, the new facility can accommodate tanks, APC’s and other heavy vehicles. “We understand that in any future conflict, our tanks will be entering Lebanese villages to target terrorists positions. Our Armored Corps needs to be ready to operate in a rubble-filled urban environment, for example,” the official said.
“We need to be prepared for any possible eventuality. When we complete building all four advanced training facilities, the IDF (Zahal) Ground Forces will be at a completely different level of readiness, training, and skill,” he said.