The Israeli Combat Engineering Corps (Hebrew: חיל ההנדסה הקרבית, Heil HaHandasa HaKravit) is the combat engineering forces of the Israel Defense Forces. Combat Engineering Corps Is a force that combines infantry and engineering. Combat Engineer Corps break barriers, dismantles land mines, plants explosives, and creates obstacles for the enemy (mines, fences, trenches, dirt, etc.) in addition they functions as a regular infantry unit.
The Combat Engineering Corps has a record of professional achievement and decoration. Its best known operation is the bridging of the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War. The corps was formed from the sabotage unit of the Palmach and the tractors operators units of the Israeli War of Independence. In its ealy years, the Combat Engineering Corps drew its soldiers mainly from Jews who had served in the United Kingdom's Royal Engineers. Its roles include mobility assurance, road breaching, defense and fortifications, counter-mobility of enemy forces, construction and destruction under fire, sabotage, explosives, bomb disposal, counter-NBC and special engineering missions. In addition to Combat Engineering Corps sappers, each infantry brigade has an engineering company trained with basic engineering and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) skills (called פלח"הן). Combat Engineering Corps sappers and heavy equipment operators are often attached to other units (such as armored or infantry brigades) in order to help them breach through obstacles and handle explosive threats. Combat Engineers have played a vital role in every war of Israel.
Combat Engineering has five battalions:
603 Battalion “Lahav”
605 Battalion “Machatz”
ABAC Battalion – counter nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.
Special Elite Forces Battalion:
Yahalom (Diamond) - In order to be accepted into the unit one must enlist with the Israeli Engineering Corps and go through basic training ("Tironut"), where commanders identify the best trainees and select them for "Gibbush" (a five day test of physical and mental condition in intensive field trials). The best graduates of the Gibbush are invited to join the unit and received advance training, which takes another year. Because the training takes a total of 1.4 years, the volunteers must agree to serve an extra year (in addition to the mandatory three year service in the IDF). The training includes training in engineering, EOD, advanced combat and counter-terrorism.
Combat Profile (82 and over) ABAC 72 and over
Length of service required for Machal
14 months (Special Forces 3.5 years)
Basic training includes 4 months of basic training (05) and two months of advanced training (07). Basic training takes place at Handasa Kravit training center in the Jordan Valley. During basic training, soldiers learn infantry content, weaponry, camouflage implementations, shooting, physical fitness, krav maga, live fire battle drills, war history, a series of education and special training in demolition and explosives. After completing advanced training, soldiers join the various battalions performing daily security operations. Besides extensive training in basic combat engineering, combat engineers go through specialized training in their respective professions. These are:
Sapper: trained with all the basic engineering skill and also trained at high infantry level. Their main role is to breach through terrain obstacles (natural and artificial), breach through minefields and enable forces to advance in the battle field. They are trained to supply close combat support for both armoured fighting vehicles and infantry. Some of them are trained in driving the Combat Engineering Corps standard CEV. the IDF Puma.
Bulldozer Operators: belong to the EVO, these soldiers are operating the IDF Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozers, including under heavy fire. Their roles are versatile and differ according to the units whom they are attached. The D9 operators perfom construction, destruction, breaching and EOD missions while assisting to tanks, infantry and even special forces during battle.
NBC Disposal: called “purifiers” they are expert in handling nuclear, biological and chemical threats.
Engineering Vehicles Operator (EVO): less combatant but nonetheless important, these soldiers are skilled in the operation of heavy mechanical equipment and engineering vehicles such as heavy bulldozers, excavators, cranes, tractors and mine-breaching devices. EVO units are called צמ"ה (Tzama) in Hebrew, acronym of Tziyud Mechani Handasi (Mechanical Engineering Equipment). They professional ranks are Rifleman 05 (רובאי 05) and EVO Operator 07 (מפעיל צמ"ה 07).
EOD experts: the Explosive Ordnance Disposal are experts in detonating explosives without damage and bomb disposal. Among their equipment you can find the Barrett M82A1 and remote-control EOD robots with shotguns and mechanic-arms. The EOD are the military equivalent of the police's bomb squad. In the IDF, they are a part of the elite Engineering unit Yahalom.
Demolition experts: they are specially trained in blowing up things in the most accurate and effective way. They explode things ranging from cellular phones and doorlocks up to tanks and large buildings. In the IDF, the demolition experts are united in Sayeret Yael of Yahalom Fortification experts: assigned on designing and overseeing the construction of bases, outposts, bridges and fortifications. Construction itself is usually done by the EVOs.
Counter-Tunnels experts: established in 2003 by the late Captain Aviv Hakani, these Combat Engineering Corps soldiers are expert in finding smuggling tunnels and weapon caches, and demolishing them. They operated in Rafah during the al-Aqsa Intifada and received recommendation of honor for their activity. After 2004 APC incident the Rafah tunnel team was united with the Combat Engineering Corps elite unit Yahalom and was renamed Sayeret Samur ("Samur" means "Weasel" in Hebrew).
Tour of Duty
Tour of duty includes counter-terror operations, arrests of Palestinian militants, patrols, manning checkpoints and regular security activities.
Area of Tour of Duty
Lebanon Border, Gaza
Orange and Black
A swordon a defensive tower with a blast halo on the background.
Silver Beret, Black Boots