U.S. Marines participating in this year’s Juniper Cobra 2018 exercises in Israel have been reintroduced to the “lost art” of fighting in tunnels by the IDF.
Israel Defense Force paratroopers trained Marine counterparts earlier this month in tunnel fighting as both forces have also participated in other drills that focused on “sharing techniques and knowledge on beach-landings and aspects of warfare,” according to local Israeli media.
Lt. Col. Marcuz Mainz, commander of the U.S. Marine Corps’ 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, said that the joint training has included learning to fight in tunnels, which he termed a “lost art” for the American military, which has not fought underground since the Vietnam War.
“We came to learn, train, and share our techniques and ideas with the IDF. In the end that’s to make us a more effective force in future operations, if we’re doing them together or independently,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lt. Ron Semel, the training officer of the IDF’s Paratroopers’ Brigade’s Reconnaissance Battalion, said that his forces learned how to make better use of light-armored vehicles during combat operations from the American forces.
“We did a joint training session with them, fighting side by side, with the armored vehicles, and the way they used them on the battlefield was really effective,” he said. [source]
Analysis: The U.S. is deepening its military training and physical presence in Israel. I will have much more on this growing relationship in future Strategic Intelligence Summaries.