For the first time in the IDF, a new unit of combat cameramen is to be established, composed of dozens of combat soldiers responsible for documenting the battlefield from within. After completing eight months of combat training with the Golani Infantry Brigade, the soldiers will join the new unit, which is currently forming inside the IDF Spokesperson's Unit. Armed with highly professional filming skills, the soldiers will be able to provide real time war footage to be used for informative purposes -- and kill bad guys, too.
"The modern battlefield has changed and more bodies, armed with cameras, are working to change public opinion. The IDF must accommodate this changing reality, in which different organizations may falsify facts in accordance with their own objectives," the commander of the new Combat Cameramen Unit, Maj. Micha Ohana, told the IDF Website's Florit Shoihet and Hadas Duvdevani.
The project was launched in a preliminary phase three years ago, when the first combat photographers or "documenters," were drafted and received only partial combat training, as opposed to the new cameramen, who will receive full infantry combat training.
Most of the combat cameramen are soldiers who train to be professional filmmakers through a military track that combines academic studies. During wartime, they are embedded within the general military force, and often find themselves working in the units facing the highest risks and in the most sensitive environments.
The documenters work in independent teams that are attached to organic units in both routine times and times of emergency. During wartime, they will serve a dual role, as combatants and documenters.
During the Cast Lead Operation, the photographers were embedded in the battlefield and provided informatory footage that was used to depict true images and occurrences from the battlefield.
According to Maj. Ohana, the cameramen train in anti-terrorism techniques, urban warfare and more. They will be provided with highly advanced technological means capable of conveying live footage to be publicized worldwide for informative, intelligence, and operational purposes. Additional footage will be provided from IAF aircraft, Israeli Navy vessels and intelligence posts.
Arutz Sheva asked the IDF Spokesman's Unit if the cameramen will also be embedded in the units facing Arab and anarchist rioters in Judea and Samaria. We have received no reply.