Sometimes referred as “People of Silence” the Israeli Navy unit Shayetet 13 is one of the main special forces unit of Israeli Defense Forces and has been engaged in almost all of Israel’s wars and other actions. The unit specializes in counter-terrorism, as well as hostage rescue, intelligence gathering, sabotage and boarding. They are heavy trained in sea-to-land actions.
Shayetet 13 consists of three specialized company: Raids which focuses on direct missions on land, counter-terrorism, special reconnaissance and hostage rescue, Underwater which focuses on underwater sabotage and attacks, security and Above water which focuses on surface attacks and sea transportation of units.
The training of the unit’s recruits goes on up to 20 months and is considered one of the hardest courses in the IDF. Upon completion the members must agree to service at least four and half years. The training phases are as following:
• Pre-army summer course which holds for teenagers who wants to enter the service.
• Selection process. Twice a year they recruit men and sometimes women for electronic warfare and navigation within the unit.
• Advanced infantry training with the Nahal Brigade for six months.
• Preparation phase to train and hone the skills of infantry, weapons training and other various necessary skills which lasts three months.
• Advanced training in survival for four weeks.
• Dedicated phase, the most crucial and hard training phase which lasts over a year. Advanced training in all of the fields as well as learn courses from IDF’s counter-terrorism school and lastly divide into three specialized units depending on their interest, skills and their future specialty.
In almost all of their training they learn Krav Maga, Israeli’s a hand-to-hand combat system and the snipers train at the IDF’s sniper schools.
Formed in 1949 by Yohai Ben-Nun with men drafted from the naval branch of Haganah, the Palyam. When founded the unit’s existence was top secret and suffered size and budget restrictions.
Most of the information about the involvement of the unit was classified, since they were involved in numerous famous operations, such as after the 1972 Munich Olympics, when they were used to neutralize those who were responsible for the attack of the Israeli athletes.