IDF Using Special Simulation Site for Training of Special Operations

Foreign Affairs

By ARIE EGOZI

Tel Aviv. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli police anti-terror unit are using a special simulation site to train and prepare for special operations.

Maj. General (Ret.) Avi Mizrahi, who was the commander of the IDF’s Central Command, told Raksha Anirveda that the IDF’s simulators and other “mission preparation systems” allow to depict a combat zone to the smallest detail using inputs from aerial photography, satellite imaging, intelligence data.

All these enable the experts to build an almost realistic training zone which has all the characteristics of the area, where a unit will have to perform a combat mission, Maj. Gen. Mizrahi added.

He said that the level of these tools in the IDF is very high “and getting better all the time.”

This very advanced capability of the IDF has been used in recent years to enable Special Forces to perform missions that for many years to come will stay under the heaviest secrecy curtain. Some according to foreign sources were performed far away from the Israeli borders.

The IDF “Depth Command” was also formed some years ago to answer a very crucial operational need. One example is the Israeli operation that brought to Israel the complete Iranian nuclear archive.

The super simulation tools used by the IDF and the other Israel security organisations have been developed by the Israeli defense industries.

Most of the IDF’s operations in recent years are against terrorists. Realising that the shape of war has changed, the IDF adapted one of its bases to become the main training place of soldiers in anti-terror actions.

Underground warfare, tactical breaching, and robotics are just a few of the specialisations that the Lotar Counter-Terror School teaches IDF soldiers. These instructors are responsible for training all IDF units in counter-terrorism. They are combat soldiers who train others and, if needed, take part in operational activities.

The other body in the forefront of anti-terror is the Special operation unit of the border police (YAMAM). This unit is now considered one of the most advanced anti-terror units in the world.

“The training and simulation tools used by this unit are highly classified but we were allowed to learn about some of them.”

This unit uses mainly a unique facility that has been built in the heart of the Judean Desert near Ma’aleh Michmash, a few miles north east of Jerusalem.

The site looks like a Hollywood set – Huge green houses, exact copies of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, of a street leading from the Old City of Jerusalem, and other sites that saw repeated terror attacks .

The training area was established with attention to the smallest detail up to the level of authentic smells and muezzin voices coming out from a loudspeaker of a model of a mosque.

The Israeli border police spokesperson said that the facility serves fighting units of the IDF, but he declined to be more specific.

As mentioned the Israeli defense industries are major partners is supplying the simulation tools to the IDF.

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