Palsar 7 and 500The Israeli Palsars are the reconnaissance units of the Israeli 7 th and 500 th Armor Brigade. The 7 th and 500 th are Israel's elite armored units and would be used to penetrate through enemy lines in wartime and gain as much territory as possible. As such, they need a special reconnaissance unit to find paths for them and to clear lanes through mine fields. Palsar 7 and 500 serve in this role quite well.
Members of the Palsars are trained in navigation, scouting, mine clearing, and intelligence gathering. Soldiers are taught standard infantry skills and then anti-armor tactics to enable them to perform their mission. Communications skills are stressed, and members will also go through a nighttime 4x4 driving class to ensure they can operate day and night and in bad weather. Members of the Palsars are considered to be among the best land-navigation experts in Israel and many end up teaching at the Israeli Recon and Patrol School at Balish Army Base.
The units are outfitted with many weapons and tools to complete their tasks. For defense the members carry the M-16/M4 carbine with M203 grenade launcher. Heavier weaponry includes RPG's (
Rocket Powered Grenades
), LAWs (
Light Anti-tank Weapon
) and the Israeli Viper mine clearing system. The Palsars are small units, with only 18-20 people in each, and operate independently of each other. Each Palsar is divided into two teams of 9-10 Soldiers.
The need and effectiveness of the Palsars was proven in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when they lead their respective armor brigade into the Golan heights. Palsar losses were high, at 29 killed and 7 wounded, but the Syrian armor was smashed and the Golan heights remain in Israeli control to this day.