'Once in 669, always in 669'

Elite special operations unit unites its past and current soldiers.

Contact Editor
Tzvi Lev, New York,

669 veterans
669 veterans
IDF Spokespersons Unit

This past Friday, a special meeting took place between the graduates of the first six draft classes of the elite 669 search-and-rescue unit and current members of the unit.

The meeting took place in 669's training center, where previous graduates were given a tour and trained together, connecting the past and present generations of 669. According to an officer on the scene, the 669 veterans kept their high level of professionalism despite being out of the unit for years.

669 is a search-and-rescue unit and is considered one of Israel's top special forces units, along with the Sayeret Matkal, Shayetet 13 naval commandos, and Shaldag heli-borne commandos.

A senior Air Force official affiliated with the unit described its purpose as, first and foremost, to rescue fighters after which it is responsible for the rescue and care of wounded Israelis civilians; sometimes, it operates in situations where care for both soldiers and civilians is needed.

In order to fulfill its purpose under live operational situations, the unit includes doctors. The soldiers who serve in the unit have to be highly capable, fit, and able to be called at all hours (even when serving in reserves).

"That's why our reservists are released [from service] earlier than normal for the IDF, due to these constraints and demands," explained a senior official, whose father was once rescued by 669 while under fire.

"The unit works tirelessly, daily, to save people caught in critical situations across Israel. They are ready to do anything to help."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)