Wing 7: Israel Air Force opens new Special Forces squadron

The Israeli Air Force formally opened a new squadron combining special units like Shalbag and Unit 699 to increase the operational effectiveness of the IAF.

A special ceremony was held at Palmachim Air Force base in central Israel.

“We are moving now to the 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,” IAF chief Amikam Norkin said during the ceremony.

The new 7th Aerial Special Forces Wing will combine the air force’s elite search-and-rescue Unit 669; the Shaldag commando unit; the Frontal Landing Unit, which builds ad hoc landing strips behind enemy lines; a dedicated intelligence unit for the wing; and a special forces school.

“The wing was formed as part of an overall process of strengthening as well as streamlining and improving operational effectiveness of the units,” the IDF said in a statement.

“The timing of the opening of the wing, during the new multi-year plan, represents an opportunity to make deep changes and to deal with new challenges in a changing reality,” the IDF said.

In February, the IDF launched a 5-year “Momentum” plan, aimed to obtain considerable military advantage over Israel’s enemies.