One of the conclusions drawn from Operation Protective Edge was that the IDF needs to train its soldiers in various types of warfare. This is why the Israeli military is currently training elite units in tunnel combat.
Every commando unit in the IDF specializes in a certain domain. However, the Israeli commando units are now practicing another type of combat that will expand their operational capabilities. In recent weeks, soldiers from the elite units have been training to master techniques that will help them fight in underground tunnels.
It is true that the IDF already has teams within the elite Yahalom unit that know how to search and destroy tunnels. However, the Israeli military has decided that since the Hamas terror tunnels presented a serious threat during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, other units should also be trained in the same type of combat. These soldiers are practicing how to operate underground in the dark, with or without the help of robots and with only a limited amount of air.
For this purpose, the IDF built a special training facility that mirrors an average Hamas terror tunnel even though it is not underground. “The speed of change around us is very rapid,” explained Ariel Ben-Dayan, the head commander of one of the IDF’s elite units. “Countries are falling apart. Armies are turning into terrorist groups. The goal of the enemy is to offset the IDF’s capabilities. What we are trying to do is develop solutions that know how to handle these threats.”