IDF female soldiers may be the guiding hand to destroy Hamas by staffing new “unmanned ground vehicles” that patrol the tense Gaza border.
Hamas snipers, anti-tank missiles and explosives threaten IDF soldiers, but the new Guardium Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), which patrols the Gaza fence around the clock, will; save lives, as well as money.
The Guardium is unarmed, but is equipped with 360-degree cameras and a loudspeaker. It is highly mobile, which means that it can stream images from various angles and gather more data than a stationary camera ca, according to the IDF.
Infantry soldiers often patrol alongside the Guardium, which can detect threats from a distance. If it spots something suspicious, the soldiers in the command room immediately notify the foot soldiers in the field of the danger.
Back in the control room, soldiers — all of whom are women — operate the Guardium with joysticks, gear pedals, a steering wheel and monitors that broadcast a live feed from the field.
Even though the UGVs are unmanned, soldiers who want to join the Guardium unit must have a driver’s license for automatic and manual transmissions so they can understand the vehicle's mechanics and how to guide them with renote control.
“Applicants must be able to focus intensively since the job demands being glued to a screen without interruption for six hour shifts,” said Lt. Avidav, Head of the Guardium Division.
Once accepted to the unit, the soldiers go through a four-month course before sitting “behind the wheel” of the Guardium. As part of the course, the new soldiers participate in drivers training courses on a Jeep as well as a Tomcar.
Following are some examples of the Guardium in Action.
1. The Guardium spots a suspicious person in Gaza approaching the border fence with Israel. Soldiers in the command room switch on the loud speaker and order the suspect to freeze. Ground forces are quickly called to the scene.
2. Guardium operators detect the entrance to a smuggling tunnel on the Gaza side of the fence. The soldiers in the command room notify ground forces in the area to watch out for potential ambushes from the tunnel.
3. The Guardium spots a footprint on a dirt path adjacent to the security fence, indicating that someone recently crossed into Israeli territory. Soldiers in the command room alert the expert IDF trackers, the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion, who send forces to the area.
4. After the terrorist attack from Egypt on August 5, 2012, the Guardium patrols the Israel-Gaza-Egypt border areas for 80 hours until the broken fence can be repaired.
5. During Nakba Day riots on the Gaza border, the Guardium observes a suspect digging a hole near the fence.
People from all over the world are coming to southern Israel to check out his Guardium UGV, Lt. Avidav adds.