IDF trains in underground tunnels

Elite IDF (Zahal) troops train against the growing terrorist threat of underground tunnels

Date: 15/09/2011, 7:15 PM     Author: Florit Shoihet

A new threat to Israel’s security is forming right underneath the IDF (Zahal)’s feet, the threat of underground tunnels and bunkers. In the Gaza area alone there are hundreds of tunnels used mostly for terrorist purposes.

The threat of tunnels was highlighted in June 2006 when terrorists used a tunnel near Kerem Shalom, killing two and kidnapping IDF (Zahal) soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

As of recently, infantry reconnaissance battalions, as well as special forces units, have begun training in underground combat. IDF (Zahal) Website joined the Nahal reconnaissance battalion in such a training exercise.

The exercise took place in tunnels located underneath the Urban Warfare Training Facility in the Central Command’s Lachish Training Base.

While underground, terrorists can be hiding in every dark room or hall and surprise the disoriented soldiers and the commanders. Using head lamps, the commanders follow the soldiers intently with occasional stops for instructions.

“The IDF (Zahal) is constantly improving and elite units like the Nahal Reconnaissance Battalion provide solutions no matter where the enemy is,” explained Company Commander, Maj. A.

“We’ve encountered underground combat in Operation Cast Lead,” he added. “The training exercise prepares the soldiers for any necessary scenario.”