Watch: 669 to the rescue

"Anyone who saves one life, has saved a world" - IDF rescue unit 669 works daily to save injured soldiers and civilians.

Uzi Baruch,

669 rescue unit
669 rescue unit
IDF spokesman

During the Sinai campaign, an Israel Air Force pilot was forced to abandon his plane. Rescue teams worked long hours under life-threatening conditions to rescue the pilot and bring him home.

This was the first time that the IDF realized it needed a specialized rescue unit to save its people. 18 years later, in 1974, the IDF decided to establish it search-and-rescue unit, known at 669.

A senior Air Force official affiliated with the unit describes its purpose as, first and foremost, to rescue fighters (as it rescued six injured Combat Engineers last week from their APC in the Mount Dov area), 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 the 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.