The army is increasing the effectiveness of its troops on the battlefield with a unit in Military Intelligence that has revolutionized how soldiers receive and understand intelligence.Formed in September 2014 as part of a reorganization of responsibilities by Military Intelligence, Unit 3060 has some 400 soldiers (half of them career intelligence officers) who specialize in technology-related fields.The unit, which reports to the head of Military Intelligence, is made up of 75% men and 25% women.Its mission?Use modern data science for operational and visual intelligence for commanders and intelligence officers to increase the combat effectiveness of the IDF.
The unit has developed several applications that can function on tablets and other portable devices, and allow troops to fully understand the geographical imprint and topography of an area where they will be operating.During times of war, the applications are updated in real-time, giving troops the ability be to warned of enemy positions and to see safe exits routes from enemy territory. These applications “have saved lives,” said one senior intelligence officer who used the applications developed by Unit 3060 during Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip in 2014. “It’s no longer an intelligence officer taking out a map in the field. If in the past it took longer, it’s now quick and in real-time.”According to a senior officer, following the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Military Intelligence realized the need to increase the potential of troops during wartime.Israel relies heavily on various intelligence-gathering capabilities such as open source and signal intelligence during wartime to combat terrorism, and according to the senior officer all the data gathered from them are integrated and placed in one central location, “keeping it simple” for the “users,” the soldiers on the battlefield.“It’s like a start-up company,” the senior officer said, explaining that the atmosphere in the unit is one of intensive innovation and creativity, replicating ideas from the technological world.Similar to start-ups in the civilian world, Unit 3060 is characterized by constant change and its soldiers excel in adapting to the ever-changing needs of the combat forces, by learning quickly and taking advantage of technological opportunities.“The unit is dynamic because of the huge security needs of Israel and the rapidly changing situation in the Middle East that directly impacts the focus of the unit and the demands of its products,” he said.
IDF military unit develops app to give troops real time updates in the field