The Engineering Corps Prepares for 2011
25 January 2011 , 14:11
For the Engineering Corps, the onset of 2011 is characterized by absorption of numerous new weapons, especially in reserve units. . Archive photo: Idf Spokesperson

The Engineering Corps prepares for 2011 with new tools and weapons including upgraded rockets, Barrett M82 rifles, etc. and new training techniques for reserve soldiers.

Daniella Bokor

The Engineering Corps recently held a conference for battalion commanders near the corps monument at the entrance to kibbutz Mishmar David, focusing mainly on reserve forces. Chief Combat Engineering Officer, Brig. Gen. Sheli Moshe, led the meeting while other of the Corps senior officials participated. These included battalion commanders of both soldiers in their regular service and those on reserve duty, the corps training commanders, etc.

During the conference, new weapons that will soon be put into use as well as a graph outlining training for the coming year were presented and suggestions made for strengthening the reserve units. Upon concluding the meeting, a brief discussion was held between commanders wherein those who wanted to suggest improvements had the opportunity.

For the Engineering Corps, the onset of 2011 is characterized by absorption of numerous new weapons, especially in reserve units. The veteran Plasim unit, for example, responsible for dealing with mines, etc., will receive hundreds of upgraded rockets with built-in grenade chains that pave a path in minefields and will be installed on armored personnel carriers (APC). They will also acquire Tzafnaim, used to penetrate minefields, tens of D9 Bulldozers and hundreds of Armonim (tools used for vision day and night). Other large-scale purchases were made in preparing for next year, including Yazamim, machines with a digital timer attached to an explosive device and set off at the desired time, vehicles for break-ins using explosives and more.

Additionally, several weapon projects are being developed. The corps has been working on upgraded bridges. Even the Namer (the future APC of the IDF currently being assimilated in the Golani Brigade) will be incorporated into the corps, with a model modified for engineering that will carry tanks and engineering tools. The first operational test of the modified Namer will take place early in 2011 and will be completed by 2012.

NBC (nuclear, biologic, chemical) non-commissioned officers will receive new equipment this year as well. NBC shields will be shipped in for the new battalion called Yanshuf. Jeeps usually used for detection and identification by NBC forces might be replaced with hummers. In terms of protection, the corps is in the process of purchasing vests, NBC proof beverage bags and new flashlights. 

Training Modifications
Training methods will be altered as well. The sniper department will learn to use the Barrett M82 (semi-automatic) rifle, a heavy and effective sniper rifle used against mining and explosive targets. The course will not train fighter as snipers but as Barrett operators.

The growing NBC center will be in charge of training NBC non- commissioned officers. The Yanshuf Battalion and army reserve battalions training will significantly grow this year, as part of the armys recognition of the importance of countering unconventional warfare.