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Israel Defense Forces:
Commando & Special Forces


IDF: Table of Contents | Ground & Infantry Corps | Air Force | Navy


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Shayetet

Shayetet-13

Shayetet, or Flotilla 13, is the Israeli naval commando unit, mostly equivalent to the U.S. Navy Seals. Considered one of the best special forces units in the world, Shayetet is used for both land and sea operations, long-range missions and hostage rescue situations both in and outside the borders of Israel. Shayetet has taken part in almost all of Israel's major wars, as well as other actions and is one of the most secretive units in the Israeli military. The details of many missions and identities of active operatives are kept highly classified.

Sayeret Matkal

Sayeret Matkal

General Staff Reconnaissance Unit 269 is more commonly refered to as Sayeret Matkal. The most well known and respected of Israel's elite units, Sayeret Matkal has taken park in practically every notable Israeli counter-terror operation since the founding of the country.  Matkal is also the primary unit dedicated to hostage rescue missions within Israel During periods of war, this unit is tasked with the most risky intelligence gathering operations, a function it has reportedly accomplished successfully on numerous occasions.

Shaldag

Shaldag

Shaldag - officially the Special-Surface Air Designation Team (Unit 5101) - is the elite commando unit of the Israeli Air force. Likely the least famous of Israel's special units, Shaldag operations are kept tightly secret and very little is known about who they are and exactly what training they undergo. Shaldag commandos took part in Operations Moses and Solomon, in which thousands of Jews were air lifted out of Ethiopia to Israel. Shaldag was also reportedly involved in Operation Orchard in 2007 when Israeli Air Force jets successfully destoyed a nuclear reactor inside Syria.

Depth Corps

Egoz

Subordinate to the Golani Brigade, Egoz is an elite unit that specializes in guerrille and anti-guerrilla warfare. Egoz is widely considered Israel's first line of offense against threats emanating from Lebanon and Syria, particularly from Hezbollah terrorists. Soldiers in the unit undergo rigorous trainingt that is heavily reliant on camoflauge warfare, silent assaults, night navigation, counter-terrorism, parachuting, and reconnaisance. The unit is based on Israel's northern front though it can be called into action anywhere the IDF needs, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Duvdevan

Duvdevan

Subordinate to the Paratroopers Brigade, Duvdevan is a specialized unit particularly noted for conducting undercover operations and counter-terror missions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is unique for the IDF because the unit has no war-time mission, only day-to-day operations. It provides for itself in terms of intelligence, backup, rescue, medical teams, extraction, snipers and demolitions. The Duvdevan unit is regarded as one of the world's most successful counter-terror units and has been called the spearhead of Israeli counter-terrorism.

669

669 Search & Rescue

The 669 specializes in search & rescue evacuations amd immediate medical care to those in need utilizing the world’s most advanced helicopters. This rescue unit was founded as a result of a fatal plane crash in 1974 between two Air Force jets when a crew member drowned during the failed rescue attempts. The elite soldiers train for over a year and a half to hone their skills in becoming expert rescuers.  669 soldiers thrive in even the most extreme of situations, such as rescues of soldiers under fire. Today, about 70% of the unit’s evacuations operations have aided both the Israeli and Palestinian civilian population.

669

Yahalom

Yahalom is the IDF's combat engineering unit for special operations. The unit specializes in many different types of warfare, including commando operations, demolition and pinpoint explosions, defusing bombs and landmines, maritime sabotage, and obstacle breaching. In recent years, Yahalom has gained notoriety for its new battlefield - underground tunnels built by terrorists in Gaza to smuggle weapons. Soldiers in the unit are now specially trained to locate the tunnels, defuse any ordanance inside them, and then fight against terrorists located underground.

Alpine Unit

Choshen C4I Brigade

Choshen is the elite C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence) provider for Israel’s elite amphibious, airborne and maneuvering units. With its three specialized battalions, Choshen  is the essential component for all IDF operations, especially the complex clandestine missions. “All communications services that the IDF needs are provided, operated and maintained by Choshen,” said Brigade Commander Col. Uri Peretz. Subordinate to the Lotem Information Technology Division of IDF General Staff’s C4I Branch, Choshen was created in 2005.

Alpine Unit

Oketz

Oketz ("sting) is an independent canine unit that specializes in training and handling dogs for military applications. Attack dogs are trained to operate in both urban and rural areas while other dogs are trained to track and pursue selected targets for manhunts and to detect breaches at the Israeli border. In addition, yet more dogs are trained to search for guns and munitions, to sniff out hidden explosives and to find people in collapsed buildings. Oketz operators become intimately connected with their dog and can be assigned to various infantry units for operations.

Alpine Unit

Alpine Unit

The Alpine Unit perfects regional-specific defense tactics such as shooting while skiing and snowmobiling at exhilarating speeds. This unit is uniquely comprised of volunteer reserve soldiers who served in elite units during their regular service. Having proved their skills as infantry troops against Israel’s greatest challenges, the soldiers return for reserve duty into one of the most demanding natural battlefields – The Hermon Mountain. The Alpine Unit was created to face the unique challenge of fighting the Syrian enemy during harsh winters and on moutainous terrain.

Depth Corps

Depth Corps

Officially created in December 2011, the Depth Corps is a joint special operations force designed and oriented to multidisciplinary missions far from Israel's borders. The force will integrate elite commando units into a single special operations command for counterterror, anti-smuggling, anti-proliferation and other operations beyond its immediate and intermediate circles of enemy states. Though it has been given the unofficial moniker of "the Iran Command," this unit was initialized to help Israel defend itself against threats anywhere from the horn of Africa to Syria and Iran.

Meitar

Meitar Unit

Meitar is an elite, top secret unit of the IDF whose soldiers specialize in the Tamuz Israeli-made anti-tank missile.  It has a range of 25km with a velocity of 220m/sec. The missile is launched by operating a detonator which is set on the top of an armored personnel vehicle.  This detonator is operated by a squad of four, an APC commander, a driver and two navigators. In order to operate the equipment, the soldiers undergo nearly 12 months of special training, culminating in an 85km trek to test their abilities in missile navigation and operation.

Underwater Special Missions Unit

Underwater Special Missions Unit

Serving under the Israeli Navy, the Underwater Missions Unit’s soldiers are specially trained to perform intricate tasks, from underwater welding to salvaging entire ships from the depths of the sea. The soldiers undergo a prestigious year-long course, which prepares them for any and all underwater operations. By the end of the course, the soldiers will be world-class divers and will be able to dive up to a remarkable 90 meter depth!


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