search

IDF to probe why soldiers keep falling in pits during training

Investigation announced after trainee for elite Maglan unit requires large rescue operation to extract him from hole, in latest such incident

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Search-and-rescue forces extract an IDF soldier who fell in a hole during a nighttime training exercise in central Israel, on September 22, 2021. (Etzion Search and Rescue Unit)
Search-and-rescue forces extract an IDF soldier who fell in a hole during a nighttime training exercise in central Israel, on September 22, 2021. (Etzion Search and Rescue Unit)

The Israel Defense Forces launched an investigation by “experts” into why soldiers keep falling into holes during training exercises, after the latest such incident occurred the day before, the military said.

During a nighttime camouflage exercise around Beit Guvrin, near the town of Kiryat Gat, a trainee from the elite Maglan reconnaissance unit fell into one of the many pits and caves that are common in that area.

Fearing that he may have sustained serious injuries, a large-scale rescue effort was undertaken, with civilian and military search-and-rescue specialists being called in, including from the IDF’s elite Unit 669 helicopter rescue unit.

“He was taken by air force helicopter to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem,” the military said.

The soldier was found to have only sustained light wounds.

On Thursday morning, the head of the IDF Central Command, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, and the head of IDF Ground Forces, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, called for a probe into the accident by “a commission of experts” led by a colonel.

Before holding exercises, particularly ones held at night, safety officers are meant to check for potential hazards, like holes, and warn troops in advance. However, a statement from the military indicated that the army is being bedeviled by literal pitfalls during drills.

“The commission will investigate the incident in question and a number of other cases of people falling into pits during IDF training exercises,” the IDF said.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed