This Israeli special forces unit is their version of Navy SEALs
One of the most secretive units in the whole of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Shayetet 13 is the naval component of Israel’s special operations forces. Like the U.S. Navy SEALs, Shayetet 13 (or S13 for short) specializes in counter-terrorism, sabotage, intelligence gathering, hostage rescue and boarding ships at sea.
Unlike other units in the IDF, whose mandatory service requirements are the same 36 months required of every Israeli citizen, S13 volunteers must give at least four and half years to the unit.
The unit is almost as old as the modern state of Israel itself. It was founded by naval forces from the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary organization under the British Mandate of Palestine, which would later become the modern day IDF.
Like the U.S. Navy SEALs, the elite S13 unit had a rough start, with a few failures early on. Once they got going, however, they became the fighting force they were always meant to be. In a joint operation with Sayeret Matkal (think IDF Delta Force), the Israelis took out an Egyptian early warning radar system on Green Island, a base at the mouth of the Suez Canal, just to remind the Egyptian military that no one was safe from Israel.
During the War of Attrition, a yearlong series of artillery shelling, commando raids, and aerial combat between Israel and Egypt, Syria, Jordan, the Soviet Union, and Cuba, Shayetet 13 operators raided ports and destroyed boats in Egypt, destroyed training bases and units in Lebanon, as well as bases in Syria.
During Operation Wrath of God, the Israeli retaliation against terrorists who killed Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, S13 raided the Lebanese capital of Beirut. Called Operation Spring of Youth, this raid is depicted in the 2005 film Munich.
During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, S13 conducted ambushes and guerrilla raids in Lebanon and sunk many Egyptian ships in port during raids there. During the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War, they created beachheads for Israeli armor, captured high-value targets, and decimated Hezbollah fighter units.
The unit isn’t without controversy. They are the unit who raided the Mavi Marmara relief flotilla bound for Gaza from Turkey. The commando claimed they came under attack from activists who were armed, but the activists maintain there were no arms on board. Nine of the Mavi Marmara’s people were killed in the incident.
The training for S13 is as grueling as any elite force’s training. 20 months long, the selection process is held only twice every year and starts with intense physical and psychological testing. A six-month basic training and advanced infantry training phase follows before three months of advanced infantry and weapons training, parachute training, maritime warfare, boat operations, forced marches, and demolitions. The next phase includes combat diving and operating in high-risk environments.
All this leads to a yearlong phase of complete immersive training and counter-terrorism. Trainees raid oil rigs, ships, and coastal structures. They are then divided into three specialized unites based on their interests and skills.
Why marijuana's potential benefits for vets outweigh the risks
Marijuana may get more use as a treatment for PTSD and other medical issues as more than 90 percent of veterans support marjuana use and development.
7 holiday classics you should send to deployed troops
The next time you visit a department store that sells DVDs, toss these films into your cart and send them to your favorite troop serving overseas.
A Boeing 757 was hacked and the Department of Homeland Security is concerned
In 2016 the Department of Homeland Security hacked a 757 remotely, using only objects that would normally pass through security without an issue.
Why Ranger Up needs to be under your tree this Christmas
The Holidays, like a hyped-up drill sergeant, are upon you. Don't you wish you had a 12-day guide to the best vet-made gifts around? Ho! Ho! Hoorah!
How dead civilians were listed as 'ISIS fighters' in Iraq
A year and a half long investigation by the New York Times revealed that the US had reported civilian casualties in combat as enemy combatant casualties.
The Marines are training an F-35 squadron to fight in nuclear war
The Marines are training on how to fight through a nuclear war and under the strains of nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological hazards.
Why a drunk traffic fatality was the last straw for US troops in Japan
Early in the morning, a Marine drove while impaired, ran a red light, and drove into oncoming traffic. He struck another truck, killing its driver.
History's 7 outstanding military leaders, according to Napoleon
Napoleon Bonaparte, considered one of the most memorable military leaders of all time, held these 7 military predecessors in great esteem.
6 ways Austin Powers is way more operator than you
In 1997, Britain's biggest playboy and best special agent Austin Powers rocked movie-goers with his bad teeth, groovy personality, and judo chop.