The Yael reconnaissance unit of Yahalom, the elite Engineering Corps Unit for Special Assignments, rehearsed crossing of a small waterway while under fire from a highly trained enemy, in a unique drill performed this month. The IDF Website's Florit Shoichet reported that the drill took place on the Jordan River, near Machanayim.
Several bridges were displayed for top commanders, including a new infantry bridge. Yael forces also demonstrated the use of rubber dinghies and ropes for transferring ground troops acros the water. The forces provide security and safety for the soldiers and vehicles crossing the river and can save soldiers who fall into the water, even in fast currents.
Exercises of this specific maneuver are relatively rare in the IDF. The last such drill took place 4 years ago. Since then, new technologies have come into use. One new item used in the drill is the infantry bridge, which can stretch over dozens of meters and is used for transferring ground soldiers from one bank of the river to the other much more quickly than was possible in the past.
Another innovation used in the rehearsal is the Trophy unit that defends against enemy anti-tank fire.
Photos: Uri Shifrin and Shai Wagner, IDF Spokesman's Unit