The Israeli Armored Corps (Heil HaShiryon) is a corps of the Israel Defense Forces that, since 1998, has been subordinate to GOC Army Headquarters. Playing a central role in every war throughout Israeli history, the Armored Corps is an essential part of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). However, operating a tank is a lot more complicated than it looks. That’s where Israel Defense Forces Armored Corps simulation instructors come in. A tank simulation instructor trains combat soldiers and commanders to effectively use the machinery in the field. During training, the instructor gives one-on-one lessons to soldiers and then guides them in practice simulations.
All recruits first undergo eight weeks of basic training, which is classed as Rifleman 04 level in the Tironut system. They train in light weapons, field training, first aid, and physical fitness. Following the end of basic training, the cadets train for six weeks in one of three specialties: gunner, loader, and driver. They engage in theoretical and practical exercises during this period. At the end of their eight-month training, recruits receive the Armored Corps pin. Outstanding Armored Corps soldiers go to the tank commanders course in Shizafon for four months of additional training.
The Israeli Armored Corps is the principal maneuvering corps, and primarily bases its strength on Main Battle Tanks. The Armored Corps currently operates three brigades:
The 7th Brigade: This legendary brigade is part of the Northern Command. It operates Merkava Mark IV tanks.
The 188th Brigade: Part of Northern Command, this brigade mainly operates Merkava Mark III tanks.
The 401st Brigade: This brigade is under the command of the Southern Command and consists mostly of Merkava Mark IV tanks.
The corps is comprised of a wide range of positions. The tank itself includes a commander, loader, gunner, and driver. Infantry soldiers in the unit serve in combat support companies that accompany the tanks into battle. The corps also includes reconnaissance forces. During wars, its primary role on the one hand, to lead the first line of the attacking forces and to clear the area of the enemy. Secondarily, it blocks the armor forces of the enemy and seeks to destroy its tanks and armor. During peacetime, it reinforces the Infantry Corps while it performs security tasks, with the tanks serving as mobile bunkers.