IDF officially opens new Commando School

Ceremony took place at Beit Lid in central Israel.

By
July 20, 2019 21:52
3 minute read.
Commando troops at the opening of the commando school

Commando troops at the opening of the commando school . (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

The IDF officially opened the military’s commando school, which will train fighters from the Egoz, Maglan, Duvdevan and Rimon units for commando operations.

The ceremony, which took place at Beit Lid on Thursday, was attended by the head of the Central Command Maj.-Gen. Nadav Padan, commander of the 98th Paratroopers Division Brig.-Gen. Yaron Finkelman, head of the Commando Unit Col. Kobi Heller and the head of the Commando School, as well as commanders and troops.

“After a long, thorough and focused process that was carried out with the aim of bringing all the training units into the commando units under one framework, the decision was made to establish the commando school,” the IDF said in a statement. “The establishment enables the reinforcement of the ability to act and the required capabilities while maintaining the uniqueness of each unit and creating a unified operational force, greater than in the past.”

Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot brought the four elite units together under one roof when he formed the Oz Brigade under the Central Command’s 98th Division in December 2015 with the goal of creating an accessible, independent and integrated force which operates with increased cooperation and greater efficiency.

The Duvdevan unit was established in 1986 and is known for carrying out a range of high-risk, urban-warfare operations including arrests, raids, targeted killings and kidnappings. The elite Maglan reconnaissance unit was established in the 1980s, and is tasked with carrying out operations far behind enemy lines. Egoz, formed in 1995, specializes in guerrilla warfare and special reconnaissance. Established in 2010, Rimon, the youngest of the four elite commando units, specializes in operating in desert environments.

The establishment of the school enables the military to reinforce the capabilities of each unit with the required capabilities while maintaining the uniqueness of each one, and “creating a unified operational force, greater than in the past,” the IDF said in a statement.

The training of the troops in the school focuses on the operational purpose of the commando unit for fighting in all of the country’s sectors and fronts, focusing on command and professional development routes.

Troops in the commando brigade go through 15 weeks of basic training before undergoing an additional 13 weeks of further training, followed by eight weeks of advanced training. They then go through 12 weeks of dedicated training in their units, including five weeks of specialized training, capped by a further seven weeks of final training.

In April, the IDF said that it will be making changes to its training programs for the commando units after an investigation into several accidents found a number of significant discrepancies in how the troops are trained.

The probe was ordered by then-IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot last August following a number of incidents in the military’s Commando Brigade, including one which left a soldier dead and another which left a soldier paralyzed.

The changes are expected to go into effect when the commando school begins training special forces.

According to the military, the establishment of the school allows for a process designed to characterize and write a training book for commando troops that will serve as a guideline for training the fighters while placing the safety bar high.

“About three-and-a-half years after the establishment of the brigade, we stand as commanders and fighters at the establishment of the commando school,” said Col. Heller at the ceremony on Thursday. “We are constantly preparing for the challenges in a manner that is adapted to reality and that, at the same time, could change in accordance with the fighting characteristics and the challenges of the future.”


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