Soldiers in the IDF are constantly training to protect Israel from the air, at sea, on land and, just as importantly, beneath the Earth’s surface. To that end, the Lavi Battalion’s operations company participated in a week-long underground combat training exercise last week. The unique exercise took place at the Northern Command’s central training base and was designed to train the fighters, who normally specialize in the Judea and Samaria region, for combat in all arenas.
“We understand that in the next war, the brigade will need to face a different kind of enemy,” company commander Major Baruch Ram explained. “Therefore, we need to deal with combat in shrubland, which is terrain with dense vegetation, in urban terrain and underground. A scenario in which we are forced to deal with all three terrains in one battle is likely.”
Underground warfare delivers its own set of unique challenges to soldiers seeking to clear entrenched terrorist positions. Given the technological difficulty in gaining an image of what is taking place beneath the surface, combined with the severely limited scope of physical movement for soldiers inside tunnels and bunkers, subterranean combat demands professional and unique fighting techniques.
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