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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘combat’

IDF: Free Degree For Released Combat Soldiers

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The IDF announced that soldiers who enlisted before 2013 and served in a combat unit will now be eligible for a free academic degree as of October.

The new measure, which is estimated to cost NIS 230 million a year, will pay for two thirds of the soldiers’ education while the last third will be paid for by the soldiers’ post-military grant. The funds for the program will be provided by the Friends of The IDF and the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot also reportedly asked Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to find ways to fund the education of non-combat soldiers as well.

Ari Friedman, 25, served in the Kfir Brigade and welcomed the IDF’s decision. “I am glad to see that the IDF is taking the initiative to assist its soldiers in advancing their education and life beyond their service,” he said. “I have no doubt that this will make a positive impact on the soldiers upon their release, as well as on the State of Israel at large.”

Soldiers from minority or disadvantaged backgrounds will also be eligible for the new program despite not having served in a combat unit.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Revealed: IDF Operating World’s Most Advanced and Protected Wheeled Combat Vehicle

Monday, August 1st, 2016

The Merkava Tank Administration at Israel’s Ministry of Defense has completed the development of its first wheeled armored personnel carrier (APC), the Eitan, which it says is the world’s most advanced and protected wheeled combat vehicle.

Over the past few days, the Defense Ministry, in collaboration with the IDF Ground Forces, have begun conducting initial trials of the Eitan. It is an advanced, multi-purpose APC equipped with a plethora of capabilities and prepared for combat mobility in varied and difficult terrain.

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan / Courtesy

Brig. Gen. Baruch Matzliah, Head of the Merkava Tank Administration said in a statement, “The decision to develop the Eitan was made in light of lessons learned during [the 2014 Gaza] Operation Protective Edge, and the increased need to replace thousands of the IDF’s veteran M113 APCs with modern tools with maximum protection, tailored to the existing threats in the arena.”

Matzliah said that “alongside the decision to accelerate the production of the Namer (Heb: tiger, pronounced Nah-mehr) APC, it was decided to develop an additional tool, to compliment it, enabling fast, strategic mobility and maximum protection for ground forces. The series of exercises we have recently begun is allowing the IDF to test the tool in a variety of sites, ahead of decisions regarding the volume of the purchase.”

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan / Courtesy

According to Matzliah, the Eitan was designed as a multi-purpose tool with varied abilities, whose low development and production costs would be roughly half that of the Namer APC, and/or any other wheeled APC in the world. This low-cost allows for the Eitan to be equipped with more tools, at a higher rate, like the Namer.

The Eitan will be the world’s most advanced and protected wheeled combat vehicle. It will be equipped with an active defense system, similar to the Namer APC and Merkava Mark 4 tank, and with additional protection systems. The most significant advantage of the Eitan is its excellent mobility capabilities across varied terrains and at speeds of 55 mph. The Eitan was designed for a multitude of tasks, from mobility for twelve soldiers (like the Namer) to advanced firepower.

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan’s Technical Statistics:

Weight: 30-35 Tons

Engine Power: 750 Horsepower

Propulsion: 8 Wheels, 8X8 Drive

Maximum Road Speed: over 90 Kilometers per Hour

Capacity: 12 Soldiers: driver, commander, gunner and an additional nine soldiers

Combat Systems: from small arms positions to medium range with 30-40 mm cannons, and an active defense system

JNi.Media

Cutting Edge Army: IDF Issues Vegan Combat Rations, Shoes, Berets

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

The IDF Central Food Technology and Logistics Division recently completed the development of the first Vegan combat rations, following years during which Vegan soldiers have had to settle for a portion of the military issue meal, mainly corn preserves, olives and peanuts. While Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry, Vegans, in addition, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.

Back in 2013, two members of the Israeli animal rights organization Anonymous approached the military prosecutor’s office asking to absolve Vegan soldiers from wearing leather shoes during their service, on conscientious grounds, since making leather shoes involves the “cruel murder of animals.” Apparently, they could not tolerate the thought of killing people while wearing shoes made from killed animals. Since then, the IDF has been supplying declared Vegan soldiers with non-leather shoes.

Also in 2013, the IDF has begun to supply Vegan berets, made from synthetic material, to soldiers who asked for them. Currently the inoffensive berets are available only in green (for the infantry) and black (for the armored troops). Paratroopers (red berets) are still required to wear head cover made from the sheared coats of innocent barnyard animals.

Vegan soldiers are encouraged to file their complaints with the military ombudsman by fax or email, whenever their military assignments clash with their core Vegan beliefs.

The new combat rations are due to reach over the next few months the 600 or so declared Vegans currently serving. The promised rations will include raw tehini, bernflex, energy bar, natural almonds, walnuts, dried fruits, roasted peas and chickpeas, peanuts, and preserved beans. One ration should last one soldier two weeks or two soldiers one week, provided they trust each other.

Combat Zone Cooking Competition: IDF base chef preparing and serving his unit's competition dish / Photo Credit: Gadi Yampel, IDF Spokeserson's Unit

Combat Zone Cooking Competition: IDF base chef preparing and serving his unit’s competition dish / Photo Credit: Gadi Yampel, IDF Spokeserson’s Unit

The IDF HR insists that new recruits declare their Vegan status upon enlisting, otherwise they must wait six months before they can be granted Vegan status. The reason is economic, since the army spends much more on the preparation of Vegan food at the military bases and on the rations than it does on normal food. According to the Central Food Technology and Logistics Division, everybody enjoys the Vegan delicacies: last year they budgeted about $80,000 to purchase Vegan goodies for the general military population, but the stuff was consumed in a single quarter and the budget had to be increased.

In 2013 there was a wave of protests regarding the sandwiches IDF soldiers were given on field trips. There were Facebook pages dedicated to the fact that Vegans had to work their way around the cold cuts in their food supplies, there were online petitions, and the military ombudsman was bombarded with complaints, both by fax and email. So now every base kitchen is equipped to provide healthy, nutritious and cruelty-free sandwiches to Israel’s heroes.

JNi.Media

New Elite IDF Commando Unit to be Formed

Monday, July 6th, 2015

The IDF is forming a new elite commando unit, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot announced Monday.

The unit will include special forces from infantry units already in existence, such as the elite Maglan, Duvdevan, Egoz and Rimon units.

The paratroopers unit will remain separate from the new unit to be formed, the IDF Spokesperson said.

Jewish Press Staff

The Lone Survivor of the Golani 13

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

IDF soldier Shiloh Hadad is the lone survivor of the Golani 13, a combat team of fierce Israeli warriors who battled with Hamas terrorists just after midnight on Sunday.

This is his story, as told to his parents, who were rewarded with a 15-minute visit and a hug to reassure them their son was still alive after hearing the news that his comrades had died in battle.

Hadad was the eighth man in the APC (armored personnel carrier) that fought a fierce firefight with Hamas terrorists in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

His APC was set ablaze after an explosive device was detonated beneath it. Seven soldiers were killed.

Reportedly, it was an older APC and the vehicle was not equipped with the type of armor that its built to withstand such a blast. Hadad somehow managed to escape the inferno. Within 15 minutes, an eighth comrade in a nearby unit paid the ultimate price in the heavy fighting around him.

A lull, and a few hours of quiet.

Four hours later the battle resumed. Two more Golani soldiers died as the force fought Hamas terrorists around the buildings and in the alleyways of Shejaiya. The fighting went on for hours; and just before 9:00 am, the terrorists trapped a Golani unit inside a burning building. Three more Israeli soldiers died.

After the battle, Shiloh’s parents learned their son was in the Golani unit that had fought the battle, its APC a flaming wreck.

But as soon as he could, Shiloh called his parents to let them know he was okay, telling them, “You do not understand what has just happened to me.” They immediately set out to find him. It took hours to track him down.

“They wouldn’t let him go once they had their arms around him,” his aunt, Batsheva, told Hebrew-language media. “They held him 10, 15 minutes. But then after telling them what he went through, and how he was feeling, he said, ‘I have to go back in to the front, back to my friends.’ And he was gone.”

His aunt added that it was not clear how Hadad had managed to remain alive. “After that, he managed to escape but it is not clear how, and they had no time to talk.” His lightning decision to leave the APC when he did is what saved his life — a miracle.

“The fog of war still hangs over the incident, but it is likely that after the operation is over we will find out more details through the investigation into the incident,” she said. “But one thing is certain: Shiloh is a Golani warrior. He went through a really serious battle, but he insisted on going right back to Gaza.”

Hadad’s father agreed with his son’s decision, as difficult as it must have been for him. “This campaign is intended to save Jewish blood,” his father said. “We all are waiting in safety for him to do his job and protect the homeland. That is the way we taught him, and it is the way our family believes. My brother is in the military, and we have in our family other officers and commanders as well.

“I hope with all my heart and soul that all our soldiers return safe and sound.”

Hana Levi Julian

Rare Look into IDF Simulated Takeover of Hezbollah Post (Video)

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The IDF has released an exclusive video that offers a rare glimpse into advanced combat training to defend Israel against Hezbollah.

The footage shows the elite Combat Engineering Battalion 601 in a simulated takeover of a Hezbollah position. The simulation prepared soldiers for the moment of truth against Hezbollah, simulating the takeover of a terrorist stronghold and an attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

Hezbollah continues to arm itself with long-range missiles and other weapons capable of striking any part of Israel. The terrorist army in southern Lebanon, armed by Syria and Iran and financed by Tehran, has an estimated 80,000-100,000 missiles.

The Israeli Air Force has carried out pre-emptive bombings of several convoys of advanced Soviet-made missiles that were destined for Hezbollah from Syria.

The IDF has developed sophisticated methods to stop Hezbollah, whose size and strength have grown dramatically since the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006.

“The best way to maintain our readiness and remain sharp is to train,” said the battalion’s commander, Lt. Col. Yanai Manor. “We try as much as possible to simulate events that could occur in reality.”

Jewish Press Staff

Creme De La Creme: How the IDF Picks its Most Elite Units

Monday, August 12th, 2013

After another round of nationwide enlistment, the time has come to find soldiers for the Israeli army’s most elite units. In order to be selected among the truly great, soldiers must pass intensive examinations – both mental and physical. We approached Major Danny Ben Dov, the man in charge of physical selections and unit placement for infantry and paratroopers, to learn what it takes to be listed among the best of the best.

elite7 You’ve heard about the units: the Yahalom combat engineers, Duvdevan – the unit responsible for conducting undercover operations against militants in urban areas and Oketz – the elite canine special forces unit. Behind these special units lies a complex placement process. Whether you want to curl up with a German Shepherd, maneuver an advanced UAV, or operate behind enemy lines – the path to achieving this goal is laden with potential pitfalls.

elite5

In recent months a new slew of soldiers has reached bases across the country in order to begin their basic training. However, before they could finish lacing up their military boots, practicing telling military time, and getting ready for their first shifts of guard duty, the IDF transfers a select few for special assignments reserved for the very best.

Most units open their doors to potential new recruits, however these young soldiers should take time to seriously consider the proposal, as beyond the acceptance are arduous physical and mental tests specifically designed to push the soldier to the limit.

For those looking to find the secret key to acceptance into these coveted units, the head of physical selections for IDF special units explains which features and attributes assist in weeding out the weak and singling out potential candidates.

“I am responsible for approving all units’ selections based on physical criteria in the IDF,” said Maj. Ben Dov. “Certain elite units have particular standards and requests for potential soldiers. They require special characteristics and have a very specific screening process for accepting soldiers into their units.”

However, contrary to what one might think – that all elite units have the same selection criteria – Maj. Ben Dov clarifies that not all unit classifications and soldier requirements are identical to one another.

“The placement of each soldier is chosen based on the nature of the unit itself and the type of combat soldier the unit is looking for,” explained Maj. Ben Dov. The process itself is intricate and includes discussions with the unit’s commanders as well.

“The commanders build their selection process by consulting with us, and then we go through the military’s professional instructions and general requirements,” said Maj. Ben Dov. “Part of the varying features we look for are determination and motivation.”

Though physical requirements come most immediately to mind when discussing elite combat units, Maj. Ben Dov maintains that physical strength is not the most significant part in the selection process.

“During the selection process, there are sprinting exercises, lifting exercises and other physical tests, but the main thing is not so much the physical part itself,” he said. “We are looking to see the person after the physical aspect, following these tests. There are all kinds of thinking exercises and lengthy discussions, allowing us to see the candidate’s abilities to think quickly and express him or herself clearly.”

Maj. Ben Dov summarized by explaining that throughout the entire selection process, it is imperative for one to be true to his or her personality traits. “It is important for potential examinees to come prepared both physically and mentally, but most important is to be your true self, because, through the various exercises, we eventually peel through the false stories and get to the true nature of the soldier.”

IDF Spokesperson's Office

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/idf-blog-blogs/creme-de-la-creme-how-the-idf-picks-its-most-elite-units/2013/08/12/

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