The Israeli Defense Forces pride themselves on having some of the very best trained elite military personnel in the goddamn universe. The crème de la crème of that personnel is the Alpinist Unit: a team of Israeli reservists handpicked from the top to do everything from clear paths to launch highly dangerous rescue operations in the highly controversial Golan Heights region.

And although they look just like the henchmen from The Spy Who Loved Me, their advanced operations and tactics are anything but stunts. 

IDF

A lot of the training is endurance-based, like walking through a foot of slush in areas too soft for skis.

IDF

...and skiing cross country for hours on end in freezing conditions. 

IDF
IDF

But they also do crazy exercises like this.

IDF

And this.

IDF

They were established in 1983 and are extremely proficient in snow warfare.

IDF
IDF

They're also heavily armed with assault rifles, machine guns, and sniper rifles. 

IDF

And custom-constructed snowcats that look like Mr. Plow. Except much more deadly.

IDF

At least one thing is abundantly clear: I wouldn't wanna fight 'em.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. He spent six months in Israel during the first Gulf War, but didn't see a single snowflake.

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