Infantry: Israeli Women Train Urban Warriors


26, 2007:
Israel has opened a new urban warfare training center. The complex
consists of 500 structures, including several multistory ones, duplicating what
soldiers would encounter if they had to fight in, say, south Lebanon. The new
center cost $40 million and was built with the help of the U.S. Army (which has
a lot of recent experience fighting Arabs in urban areas). Israel already has
several smaller urban training centers, built to give new troops some
experience in what they might encounter in the Palestinian territories. But
last Summers operations in Lebanon showed that many reservists not only lacked
urban warfare training, but also training tailored for conditions in Lebanon.
The new training center will allow for entire battalions to train together, as
they would fight together, in an urban environment. The complex is covered with
over a thousand sensors, mostly small vidcams, which capture the activities of
the troops for playback and critique. American style MILES (laser tag)
equipment is used to realistically recreate the effects of weapons. Other
troops and local civilians are used to play the enemy, and civilians, in the
training exercises. Although Israel doesn't use women soldiers in combat, women
do serve as instructors for combat skills. In the new training center, they
often play the role of the enemy, and the Israeli troops usually know when this
is the case, because the women soldiers are quite good.


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