All Terrain Vehicles

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Background


The IDF SF began testing ATVs in the early 1990's, as a short distance high-mobility carrier for personnel and gear. In the mid 1990's, the IDF officially adopted the Honda FourTrax 300 fitted with a roll bar as its standard issue ATV. Nicknamed "Yagi", the Honda FourTrax 300 were issued to all infantry orientated units, including both SF and regular units and were used until the late 2000's when they were replaced by the Polaris MVRS known in the IDF as "Sabal Hir" or Infantry Mule in Hebrew.

Law Enforcement units have also used ATVs since the late 1980's. However, while the IDF uses a standardized version including a military-style olive-gray paint scheme, Law Enforcement units use a variety of civilian ATV makes and they are often kept in their original bright paint scheme.

Training


ATV qualification requires a three weeks ATV course, during which the students learn day and night driving in harsh terrain, tackling obstacles and field maintenance.

Due to the ATV dangerous tendency to roll over the course places a focus on safety, with safety related violations are the main reason for failing the course. However, the students are occasionally required to make controlled roll overs in order to learn how to avoid them or recover once they occurred.

Once qualified the course graduates receive protective gear including body pads, helmet and eyewear, and are also issued with a Tadiran PRC-624 radio.

As with most IDF infantry oriented schools, the school staff is co-ed and consists of both female and male instructors.

To date, the course experience a single fatal incident to date when in 1993 a course instructor incorrectly tackled an obstacle, rolled over and was killed.

Deployment


In the IDF ATVs are used as a fast cost-effective way to transport personnel, vital gear and stretchers from one location to the other. In Law Enforcement ATVs are primarily used for patrolling along Israel's borders and in sensitive areas.

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