'IDF adjusting training of elite units to prepare for warfare in tunnels'

Army Radio reports that IDF has changed training concept in light of lessons learned during Operation Protective Edge.

March 23, 2015 10:26
1 minute read.

An IDF soldier traverses a tunnel used by Hamas gunmen for cross-border attacks. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Following the prominence of Hamas infiltration tunnels in last summer's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, the IDF is preparing for the possibility that in the next operation, part of the fighting will occur inside the tunnels themselves.

According to an exclusive Army Radio report on Monday, the training of elite IDF ground units is being revolutionized in order to prepare troops for fighting the tunnel threat.

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As part of the change, elite units are undergoing different training and being provided with different equipment to deal with the potential threat.

Hundreds of millions of shekels are being invested in implementing the various plans initiated from the lessons learned in Operation Protective Edge.

New infrastructure is being built at IDF training bases to help adapt ground troops to the new realities of modern warfare that revealed themselves in the Gaza war.

Already at the stage of basic training, elite ground units are training in mock tunnels constructed by the IDF. Soldiers are being given the proper engineering training and the ability to use heavy machinery.

The budget for the projects has come from within the IDF's existing budget, according to Army Radio.

The changes being implemented would not have been possible prior to Operation Protective Edge. While the IDF had intel that Hamas attack tunnels existed prior to the operation, there was not yet the understanding of the nature of fighting within the tunnels.

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