UWTC, Photo: IDF Website UWTC, Photo: IDF Website
Following the lessons learned in 2002’s Operation Defensive Shield and 2006’s Second Lebanon War, the IDF Ground Forces Command built a training center that simulates a modern desert city.
The IDF reports that the UWTC is fully operational, allowing IDF soldiers to train in a controlled urban environment, much like the ones encountered in Gaza and Lebanon in the past two wars.
As modern warfare continues to move from battlefields to battlecities, the need for such training facilities dictated the creation of the urban terrain center with 600 individual structures that simulate an authentic, modern desert city. The structures range from eight-level apartment complexes to shabby shacks, schools, city-stores, public buildings, market places, and mosques.
The training center places special emphasis on civilian populations living within urban centers who are exploited as human shields. “Every soldier training at UWTC is given instruction on how to distinguish terrorists from city residents, facilitating the focus on precision operations that engage the enemy,” the IDF’s website said.
Though the facility has been operational for a short time, in the future, it will be used in coordination with other countries learning to combat the moral and tactical dilemmas of human shields in urban terrain.