April 8, 2009:
One of the unique Special Operations unit in the world is the Israeli Yahalom battalion. This is a combat engineering unit that includes platoons dedicated to specialties like defeating booby traps and roadside bombs, finding and destroying smuggling tunnels, building specialty demolition bombs and engineering tasks in general. A Yahalom unit also operates the D9 armored bulldozers that support troops in urban combat.
Yahalom both develops new equipment and weapons, and also provides operators to use some of these weapons. Members of Yahalom must undergo 18 months of training before they are ready for service. Think of Yahalom as the special operations gadget experts. They will design and build whatever is needed, bringing in outside contractors as needed. Most of the gear that Yahalom has developed is still classified, and only seen when used in combat. Yahalom tries to keep their gear secret, so that the enemy does not know exactly what they are up against. If they do, countermeasures can be developed.