Yahalom Unit

Yahalom is the IDF’s highest engineering authority. It is the engineering corps’ elite special operations unit and trains its soldiers in commando combat.

Most of the unit’s work is covert, in which the unit works alone, or alongside other elite units. In the last few years, Yahalom’s importance in the IDF has grown, which has rendered a major increase in the unit’s operations and involvement. As a result, the unit has witnessed a significant growth in number of soldiers and is now led by a colonel.

The unit boasts a wide range of responsibilities which include special engineering missions, precision demolition, thwarting enemy infrastructure, handling explosives, manufacturing bombs and special explosives, disabling enemy tunnels, IED defusal, landmine clearance, and many more.

Additionally, the unit has a development department that researches and builds new techniques, for example in terms of improved combat and infantry methods, new approaches on how to detonate bombs and proper demolition to use, etc. These innovative strategies are then implemented by Yahalom in training soldiers across many different IDF units.

Joining the Unit

Enlisting in Yahalom is rigorous and candidates must adhere to the following conditions: enlisting in the engineering corps, obtaining a medical profile of 82 and above, and passing the four-day provisional tryouts. People who didn’t succeed in elite units such as the pilot program, naval officer program, and submarine program can also request to transfer to Yahalom.

Tryouts last four days and are part of the engineering corps’ basic training program, in which only the best of the best qualify.

The unit’s training program has a duration of 16 months, during which time the soldiers endure long and arduous training. The training combines professional combat engineering training, education in explosives and demolition, and high-level general combat training that includes field combat, survival and navigation, Krav Maga, counter terrorism training, parachuting, climbing, repelling, and more.


The 16-month training program:

Stage A- basic training covers PALAS 05 and in lieu of continuing with the engineer corps program, soldiers are placed in the unit’s base, where they continue the unit’s distinct and demanding basic training program.

Stages B-C – after Stage A the soldiers are divided into subunits and teams. These teams will stay the same for the remainder of the training program. Each team has two commanders: an officer from the unit (lieutenant), and a sergeant (first-sergeant).

Combat service in the unit- in the final year and a half, the combatants participate in a variety of missions within their tactical companies. Qualified soldiers leave and continue their training to become officers or commanders and proceed on that track for the rest of their army service.