The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has unveiled a new squadron that will unite all IAF special forces under one command.
In a press release on Sunday, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said that the 7th Aerial Special Forces Wing “was formed as part of an overall process of strengthening as well as streamlining and improving operational effectiveness of the [IAF] units […] to respond to changing and growing threats in various arenas”.
The new squadron will include the IAF elite commando unit Shaldag as well as the search-and-rescue Unit 669 and the Frontal Landing Unit.
Speaking at an unveiling ceremony, IAF chief Amikam Norkin, for his part, underscored that the new wing will make IAF special forces “more effective in battle, more influential in our aerial superiority, and more a part of all the processes and scenarios taking place in the air force”.
“We are moving now to a new era in the history of the Aerial Special Forces Wing — we are standing on the shoulders of our predecessors, who were courageous and took action — and now we are leading the way”, Norkin added.
The unveiling of the 7th Aerial Special Forces Wing came after reports that the new squadron may take part in the IDF’s so-called “war-between-war” campaign against Iran amid ongoing tensions between Tel Aviv and Tehran.
Israel has repeatedly accused the Islamic Republic of supporting “terrorist” groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and of waging proxy wars in countries such as Syria which could pose a threat to the Jewish state’s security. Iran, which refuses to recognise Israel’s right to exist, denies the accusations, saying that there are only Iranian advisers in Syria.