IDF commander: We know an attack from Gaza will involve multiple threats

Engineering Corps company stationed on border holds drill simulating a range of threats.

December 26, 2013 06:26
2 minute read.
Military drill at Tze'elim training center in the south, Dec 24 2013

Military drill at Tze'elim training center in the south, Dec 24 2013. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)


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Under permanent threat from terrorists in Gaza, a Heavy Mechanical Vehicles Company, belonging to the Engineering Corps, completed on Wednesday an intensive three-day drill in southern Israel, simulating a range of hostile fire and bombing threats.

Capt. Rotem Levi, commander of the company, told The Jerusalem Post that the threats he and his soldiers practiced responding to, at the Tze’elim training base, were very similar to the frequent incidents the unit encounters along the Gaza frontier.

There has been an overall rise in border incidents over the course of the past year, he added.

Operating under the southern Gaza territorial division, the Company, established in 2003, is equipped with a range of heavy armored vehicles, such as D-9 armored bulldozers, armored personnel carriers, and drilling equipment.

Its members join infantry and armored units, and act as trailblazers for military forces, clearing paths in areas with bombs in them, exposing and destroying attack tunnels, and joining daily border patrols.

“We practiced all of the potential scenarios. We understand that if we come under attack, it will be a complex event involving multiple, combined threats, rather than one pinpoint attack,” Levi said. “We could be dealing with an explosives incident while coming under full attack from projectiles and gunfire. We could face an attempted kidnapping.”

The Company can call for cover fire from supporting Armored Corps and infantry units, but is also able to direct its own firepower, in the form of MAG machine guns, mounted on its vehicles.

“If necessary, we have to know how to exit our vehicles and storm enemy positions that are threatening us on foot,” Levi added.

“We combined our capabilities with other military units in this training, but this also happens daily, in security missions,” he said.

During the exercise, the unit practiced clearing paths, neutralizing bombs and destroying structures used by terrorists. “Our heavily armed vehicles enable us to get to challenging territory and ease the entrance of other forces,” Levi said.

“We know there are dangers from 360 degrees. One of our tasks is to search for clues on the ground, to direct us to threats, like tunnels.

To get to know the territory well, and see what has changed recently. We practiced getting to these challenges, and exposing them,” he added, “this is what we do every day.”

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