Israel army creates new Special Operations Unit under Air Force command

Israel is creating a new special forces unit as part of the Israeli Air Force, Seth J. Frantzman reports in The National Interest. Called the 7th Wing, it will include ground forces and serve operations needs in a variety of theatres the Israeli Defense Forces said on Sunday, July 12. The unit was inaugurated at Palmachim base.
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Shayetet 13 is an extremely experienced and elite special forces unit of the Israeli Defense Forces whose roles and abilities can be compared to that of the US Navy SEALs or the British Special Boat Service (SBS) (Picture source: Israel MoD)

Israel has been going through a military transformation in recent years, part of a multi-year program called “Momentum” that is supposed to make the IDF leaner and tech-savvy, combining more units with more capabilities. The future war that Israel faces is likely against a complex and determined enemy linked to Iran.

According to the IDF, the special new Air Force unit was established due to the “operational needs and changing and growing threats in the various theatres. The wing was established as part of the IAF force design aimed to increase the operational effectiveness of the units. The wing will function as a complementary and a unique component to IAF activities through special depth, routine and emergency operation.”, Seth Frantzmann reports.

“The establishment of this wing brings into action a conceptual and organizational change…The 7th Wing will gather various units, including the ‘Shaldag’ unit, Unit 669, the Forward Landing Unit, a dedicated intelligence unit and an assigned school for Special Air Force (SAF) combat troops,” stated the IDF. This means the 7th Wing will combine a plethora of other elite units under one umbrella. This sounds a bit like what Special Operations Command (SOCOM) or other similar combinations bring to the table in terms of abilities.

The announcement of the new unit comes at a unique time for Israel. Facing the Iranian threat and tensions, reports indicate Israel has asked the United States to speed up the delivery of two Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tanker aircraft.