Special combat engineering unit holds grueling trial in South for new applicants

IDF recruits test their limits to become part of the army's elite.

idf recruitment test gibush 370 (photo credit: IDF Spokesman)
idf recruitment test gibush 370
(photo credit: IDF Spokesman)
The Special Operations Combat Engineering Unit completed a grueling trial period for its future members in recent days in southern Israel. The unit, with its many specialized battle capabilities including underground warfare, would play a key role in any IDF ground offensive in Lebanon or Gaza.
Lt.-Col. Zaki Yeffet, commander of the Engineering Corps Training Base, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday about the exercises those who wish be a part of the unit must undertake successfully to be selected.
“The aim is to locate the most suitable soldiers. There’s a tough physical fitness test, an exam of mental capabilities, drills to look at team work and a test to see how the soldiers carry out complex technical tasks,” Yeffet said.
Of all the soldiers from the Combat Engineering Corps who begin the trial period, only a quarter complete it successfully, and go on to serve in the prestigious unit.
Yeffet said the unit’s companies specialize in several key areas. Not all of them can be revealed.
Areas of specialty include dealing with explosives in complex battle arenas, and storming buildings from multiple entry points where hostages are being held by terrorists.
A third company specializes in providing solutions to military forces seeking to cross rivers, and a fourth is trained for underground combat.
“This is our most recently added specialty field, and has been most used in Gaza,” Yeffet said.
“Soldiers must locate and destroy enemy bunkers and tunnels,” he added.
Those who don’t make the unit are naturally disappointed, but will continue to serve in other important roles in the Combat Engineering Corps, Yeffet stated.
“They can find rewarding roles in command levels as officers,” he said.