Every day, Israeli military innovations are helping to save the lives of American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Because the United States has a deep strategic relationship with Israel, the U.S. military is able to learn from the Israel Defense Forces’ vast combat experience. Below are some of the life-saving Israeli military advances that the United States uses today.
Advanced Medical Training and Products
Israeli battlefield medical expertise has increased the survival rate of severely injured U.S. combat troops through both training and previously unavailable medical products. Beyond providing hardware, Israel is also sharing information with U.S. military doctors who are researching efforts to mitigate the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the psychological issues challenging amputees during rehabilitation.
An unprecedented number of U.S. troops are returning home from combat with Posttraumatic Stress (PTS)—a condition that can have a long-term physical and psychological impact. Accordingly, the U.S. military has turned to its partners in Israel to help train and prepare soldiers for their tours of duty and address the causes of PTS before any symptoms reveal themselves.
Dr. Edna Foa, an Israeli professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has developed a recuperation method known as Prolonged Exposure (PE). The treatment was created by Foa during the 2000 Palestinian Intifada as Israeli forces were exposed to the trauma of war. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has embraced PE, putting the protocol into wide use and implementing programs to teach it across the various armed services. So far, about 1,200 clinicians in the U.S. Veterans system have been trained in PE.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Litening Targeting Pod
The American military routinely deploys Israeli-developed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which have logged thousands of hours in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. planes in both countries have been equipped with the Litening targeting pod, a system of Israeli-origin with infrared sensors that identify ground targets and enable pilots to fly at night and in bad weather. The Litening made it possible for American fighter pilots to deliver the munitions that eliminated al-Qaeda’s top leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Bradley Reactive Armor Tiles and IED Protection
Israeli-developed reactive armor tiles, which explode outward upon impact, protect American armored personnel carriers in Iraq, saving hundreds of soldiers from potential death or injury. America and Israel have also collaborated to reduce the threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), increase the
accuracy and safety of multiple weapon systems and improve aircraft selfprotection and personnel safety.