Female Soldiers Guard With Robots
03 March 2010 , 17:29
Female scouts in the Military Operations Room of the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps
Female scouts in the Military Operations Room of the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps. Photo: Yarden Man, IDF Spokesperson
Photo:. Yarden Man, IDF Spokesperson
The newly named Combat Intelligence Collection Corps is comprised of 60% female soldiers, who serve as scouts or fighters and watch every move made in the field.

Sivan Peleg

A decade ago in April 2000, the body known as Field Intelligence was born. Slowly but surely it took its first baby steps in building itself up with the formation of the Field Intelligence School, the establishment of the comprehensive information gathering battalions, the growth of the body to almost a third its original size, and the development of weapons that are to this day thought of as the best in the world. Half a year ago, in September 2009, the Corps decided that it had outgrown its nest, and went off on its own, separating from the Intelligence Corps.

And thus the Field Intelligence Corps was born anew. Within half a year it has received a new name, the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, a new unit identification tag, a new pin and soon, a new beret whose color is shrouded and mystery and a point of curiosity all throughout the IDF. Aside for all that, the changes are minimal. The Corps will have the same officers, the same soldiers, 60% of which are female.

Lt. Col. Barak Cohen, the Nitzan Battalion Commander, says that the work done here proves itself. As an example he discussed the work of the scout soldiers in ports, during which the soldiers collected information on a suspect from Nablus over the course of two weeks. Day after day, for many hours at a time, these female soldiers followed him and learned his routine; when he leaves, who he spends his time with, and where. They understood how he dressed and which foods he preferred. They also identified all his acquaintances and created profiles for each of them as well. All of this scouting work was done in the open field, across from the crowded city, and therefore the girls had to camouflage themselves with the utmost success and do their job with speed and efficiency. After two weeks of gathering intelligence which led the scouts to an understanding of the suspects detailed behavior, the information was passed on to the unit of soldiers who were able to arrest the suspect within 20 seconds. The operation was deemed a success, as it was done with a minimum of struggle or damage, and all this is thanks to the scouting soldiers.

At the Push of a Button

The Military Operations Room in the Kissufim Base is of the most advanced in the Corps, and constitutes the integration of intelligence gathering and attack. It contains systems for both investigation and detection. And, of course, it also has many resourceful female scouts with nerves of steel, who succeed 24 hours a day in operating the Military Operations Room, and who watch the field all day long on their screens. Practically none of these girls have ever actually been in the field, but they spend all of their time inside. They remember it by heart, and know every bush, tree and stone, as they know how to identify even the smallest possible nuances that change in the field.

These female scouts recently simulated a cooperative joint operation with the See-Shoot system, which enables the scouts in the Military Operations Room to carry out gunfire from far away. Identify the suspects! shouted one scout to another, and quickly the girls began to thwart an incident and pass on information about two suspects to the forces in the field. They homed in on the suspects and followed them from afar the entire way. The forces began to arrive in the field, but they didnt arrive quickly enough. Permission to fire the Military Operations Room Officer told a commander, who seated herself behind the See-Shoot System. The scout who identified the suspects directed the commander to the specific point, and the suspects were shot. Although this was all just a military exercise, it simulates many activities which have been carried out successfully without injuring any IDF soldiers. The identification and direct hits succeed all because of these alert female scouting soldiers, who sit behind the screens and guide the forces in the field.

The Girls Whose Eyes Dont Shut

Lt. Col. Eran Gabai, Commander of the Nesher Battalion, placed a challenge before his soldiers. Before you are binoculars and the open field. Try to find the scouting stations of the fighters who are spread out in the field. All of the soldiers squint their eyes, search and begin to sweat a little. I have identified! someone yells. Everyone goes over to one small modest hill under a tree. After three knocks, an entire staff of female fighters exits a place that only seconds before looked entirely sterile. At the end of an exhaustive 8 months of training during which the girls learn to be scouting or disguised fighters, they are divided up into teams that quickly become like families.

We eat together, drink together, laugh, sleep and speak together, and most importantly, we work together, says Cpl. Shir Eidelman, who one minute earlier seemed to be part of a hill. She is dressed in special disguise uniform, her face is painted the colors of the sand and even her weapon is colored that way as she describes her satisfaction with her job. Not many people are familiar with our Company and I try to speak about it with everyone. And still, everyone understands the responsibility we have. She says that often combat soldiers will be doubtful, but end up giving her respect and recognizing the significance of what she does. Over the past few years it has become slightly more in the norm for there to be female combat soldiers, and they see that we have high motivation to defend our country and our soldiers.

Nobody Knows the Field Better than These Girls

While other combat brigades move every few months to new territories, the female fighters in the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, including the scouts, always remain in the same place. This instills in them vast knowledge, expertise and recognition of the depths of the field. Because we are professionally trained in one region, there is no one who knows it better than we do. Shir continues, Therefore, we direct the soldiers and help them to know the field. We precede the strike. And the need to spend days at a time together in a concealed place created a special bond. Because we are together all of the time, we are each others best friends and know everything about each other. Strong friendship like this, built on spending many days together in a small place, cannot be made outside of the army.
Brig. Gen. Eli Pollack, the head Combat Intelligence Collection Officer, explains the renewed branding. We decided to place the responsibility of Intelligence back in the hands of the Corps, and to busy ourselves with proper collection. We established our own Corps because collection is a professional thing which demands training and instruction, and today we are advancing the training of the fighters and the female scouts. The task of this structure is extremely important, and it gathers information in all shapes and sizes all year long. When asked about documentation about the joint operations, he says The Corps has placed an emphasis on bringing evidence and proof, and constitutes one of the information centers. The threats have not finished, and it is on us to be prepared and organized for anything. We watch from the fence to inside the enemies territory and we respond to every incident which occurs in the operational zone.

For video clip in Hebrew, click here