Sayeret Yahalom


Sayeret Yahalom

Yahalom (Hebrew language: יהל"ם - יחידה הנדסית למשימות מיוחדות) is a special elite combat engineering unit of the Israeli Engineering Corps of the Israel Defense Forces. The name "Yahalom" (Diamond in Hebrew) is an abbreviation of "Engineering Unit for Special Operations".

Sayeret Yahalom specializes in special engineering mission which include:
* Commando and Counter-Terrorism missions.
* Accurate demolitions and planting of pinpoint explosives.
* Defusing bombs, landmines and unexploded ordnance (Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)).
* Maritime sabotage and obstacles breaching.
* Searching and destroying smuggling tunnels.
* Developing advanced methods and tools for demolitions and EOD.
* Teaching and training engineering corps soldiers and other Special Units in demolitions and EOD.

Organization and Activities

General Activities

Sayeret Yahalom is a classified unit and almost none of its special activities are exposed to the public. When its activities are published, they are usually just credited to a "combat engineering force"; a term which can just as well be used to describe regular Engineering sappers, IDF Caterpillar D9 operators and infantry engineering companies.

Jane's Defence Weekly has claimed that Sayeret Yahalom are working closely with Sayeret Matkal and Shayetet 13, by providing them with demolition, explosive and sabotage skills.Fact|date=December 2007

Sub-units

* YAEL ("Ibex") - special demolition unit, long range sabotages missions, counter terror, maritime engineering.
* YACHSAP ("EOD Unit") - removing land mines, missile warheads, handling nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) threats, bomb disposal.
* SAMOOR ("Weasel") - a unit whose expertise is finding and destroying smuggling tunnels and hidden weapon caches.
* HEVZEK ("Flash-light") - a unit who operates military robots

Weapons and means

The exact weapons of the unit aren't detailed but it was recently reported that they acquired new means to handle smuggling tunnels, such as remote-controlled robot which can scan tunnels, removing the need for human operators to enter the tunnel and risk their lives.

EOD robots for handling Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), bombs and explosive charges and advance EOD car are standard equipment for all engineering units handling explosives and also used by Israel Border Police sappers.

Other means of Sayeret Yahalom include the up-armored IDF Caterpillar D9 bulldozer (which was found extremely useful for special operation and CT duties), an armored Excavator with drills and IDF Puma CEV.

Activities during the Second Intifada

Recentlywhen, Sayeret Yahalom was enlarged when the Southern Command Philadelphi Route Smuggling tunnel experts team was merged with the unit, to form a platoon called SAMOOR.Fact|date=December 2007

The "YACHSAP" team is constantly defusing large IEDs set by Hezbollah along the Israel-Lebanon border and bombs planted by Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.Fact|date=December 2007 They are often assisted by armored bulldozers for that mission.

The YAEL team has destroyed Palestinian homes and civilian infrastructure which was, according to the IDF, being used as weapons caches, cover for tunnels used to smuggle weapons, and firing positions.Fact|date=December 2007

Recruitment and training

In order to be accepted into the unit one must enlist with the Israeli Engineering Corps and go through basic training ("Tironut"), where the best trainees are tracked by the commanders and sent to "Gibbush" (a five day test of physical and mental condition in intensive field trials) from whom the very best are selected to join the unit and received advance training. The extra training takes another year (which bring to a total of 1.5 years of training) and therefore member soldiers must commit themselves for two more years of service (in addition to the mandatory three year service in the IDF).

The long and intense training period include both engineering and EOD training and both advanced combat training and full counter-terrorism training.

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/mazanga9/IDF/CombatEngineeringCorps.htm# Israeli Engineering Corps SF]


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