Sunday, December 1, 2013
Its now been three days since we set aside some time to give thanks for all of our blessings with some of our most important blessings while we devoured more blessings. Tonight also marks the 5th night of Hanukkah, and Christmas is only 24 days away! Since it is a season where we focus on giving as a way to celebrate and remember a Gift given to us, this blog post will be used to offer some gift ideas for the AR-15 owner and enthusiast. These suggestions would be great gifts and may help stimulate other similar ideas for a perfect black rifle related Christmas gift. Blue highlighted words in the post below feature links that will take you to the product on our website for easy ordering.
The AR platform's popularity has much to do with its modularity and ability for a single weapon to be tailored for a multitude of specific applications. If you're looking for a gift for a hunter who wants to get into competitive sport shooting or vice versa, many parts of the AR-15 are relatively easy for the owner/end user to alter. There are a few essential tools that (along with reputable online instruction) can allow most anyone to make some dramatic changes to their weapon. If you have a vice and vice block for the weapon (or access to one from a friend, etc...), the TAPCO AR Armorer's wrench makes an awesome gift for the owner of an AR-15. This wrench is a multi tool, allowing the user to perform barrel swaps, muzzle device changes, remove or replace buttstocks, and a few other tasks as well. It is important to have a good knowledge of the weapon in order to perform some of the mentioned tasks safely and successfully. If you are unsure of anything, it is imperative to seek the assistance of a qualified gunsmith to ensure safe assembly and proper testing of variables like headspace any time components like a barrel, bolt, or receiver are altered Not doing so could result in life threatening, dangerous results. With the proper tools and knowledge, it is not as difficult or frightening as these last few sentences may have made it out to be.
The barrel kits that are offered on our website are another great gift idea. They include everything one needs to have a differently configured rifle from the receiver forward (receiver not included). The barrel and associated small parts, handguards, delta ring assembly (if needed for handguard choice), gas tube, roll pin, and flash hider are all included in the barrel kit product. Much like our rifles and rifle kits, barrel kits are customizable to allow choice of barrel, gas block, handguard, and muzzle device from our extensive product line for whatever specific application is desired. The optional upgrades for these choices are offered at a discount from what the specific part would cost if purchased individually, so it is a great way to give a new look and capability to your current weapon platform...your 16" M4 barreled upper can be transformed into a 20" upper, perfect for predator hunting this winter and for an amazing price.
apparel and Del-Ton accessories, too! There are t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and decals that will help display the pride and enjoyment that is a part of being the owner of a DTI AR-15. A couple of different apparel options are offered for both the ladies and men, and in some cool designs, fit, and color styles.
Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the AR-15 rifles we produce or the parts we offer at www.del-ton.com, please feel free to contact us. Have a safe and fun holiday season!
Friday, November 29, 2013
In our final installment of various foreign special operations military units that use the AR-15 weapon platform as a primary weapon, we have decided to highlight another special forces unit from Israel, the Duvdevan Unit. Israel has many amazing, elite military units, but the function and capabilities of Duvdevan are both interesting and incredible.
In Hebrew, Duvdevan means "cherry". There are a couple of reasons offered on various online unit descriptions as to why they were given this name; however, former unit member Aaron Cohen, in his book Brotherhood of Warriors, explains the unusual moniker to clear things up.* In Israel, there is a species of cherry that looks identical to a normal, edible cherry, but this particular species has a strong and sometimes lethal poison. By the end of this post, it should be clear that the design and capabilities of this special operations unit mimic (in a tactical and operational manner) its namesake fruit.
The unit motto comes from Proverbs 24:6, "For by wise counsel thou shalt make war." Duvdevan was formed in 1987 when the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) was under the command of General Ehud Barak. Around that time period there was a Palestinian uprising (the 1st Intifada) that unleashed an increased tempo of terrorist attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets. Standard military units and special forces units already in existence were not well suited for responding to and preventing these types and numbers of attacks. The concept of the Duvdevan unit was implemented and initial unit members were drawn from Shayetet 13, the "Navy Seals" of the IDF.
Duvdevan is tasked exclusively with counter terrorism. The national police force has a similar unit (YAMAM), but Duvdevan is the exclusive, elite unit of the IDF trained and equipped to prevent and respond to incidents of terrorism. The unit is designed to infiltrate deep into Palestinian controlled or populated areas of Israel (Gaza, The West Bank, areas of Jerusalem) and arrest or neutralize terrorist targets. Unit operators "become" Arabs...they speak their language and even dialects, follow their customs, manner of dress and appearance, and behaviors all in order to gather intelligence and ultimately apprehend terrorists and prevent future terrorist attacks. So, much like their namesake, Duvdevan operators may appear "safe" and normal, but in reality they are quite lethal.
Training and Equipment:
Around 2002, the Duvdevan unit saw some changes made, especially in regard to the recruit training design and process. Potential unit members have to go through basic and advanced infantry training like any standard IDF infantry soldier. They do this alongside the IDF Paratroopers Brigade (Tzanchanim), at their training facility. An initial 24 hour long unit specific test is given prior to their basic training and in later training, a 5 day long qualification test must be passed before admission to unit specific training. In depth psychological interviews and background investigations are also performed prior to any "real" Duvdevan training.
Following completion of basic and advanced infantry training, the recruit attends an 8 week long "Duvdevan basic training" where urban land navigation skills, counter terrorism training, and combatives techniques are learned. It is then on to the IDF Counter Terror Warfare School, where all IDF special operations members who are tasked with counter terrorism operations receive training. Eventual members of the Duvdevan unit receive the longest (duration) and most in depth training at this facility. This is followed by 16 weeks of Mistavarim (undercover operations) training, where the student is instructed in language and cultural specifics in order to successfully assimilate into Palestinian Arab settlements. Additional training for unit member specific skills (sniper, medic, demolitions, etc...) occurs before the successful recruit is assigned to a team and begins operations.
Duvdevan operators have access to any of the weapons in use by the IDF. Due to the nature of their primarily undercover operations, smaller, concealable weapons are the norm. Glock and Sig Sauer pistols in 9mm are the standard handguns used by members, and sub machine guns like the Micro Uzi and H&K MP-5 are small enough to be employed in a discreet manner. Much like their fellow special forces operators, Sayeret Matkal, when a battle rifle or rifle caliber ammunition is desired, Duvdevan operators seem to opt for the Colt Commando configured AR-15.** The 11.5" barrel and collapsible stock allow concealment and ease of movement in urban terrain and operations, but still offer a weapon with the ballistic advantage of a fast rifle caliber and the mission specific customization provided by the AR-15 weapon platform.
Duvdevan is an important element in the IDF defense against terrorism. In 2002, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented an award to the Duvdevan unit in recognition of their having the greatest impact of any IDF unit on the war on terror.** Their selection and use of the AR weapon platform is yet another testament to the value of this amazing rifle for a multitude of applications, but definitely in the defense of life and nation.
Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the AR-15 rifles we produce at Del-Ton, Incorporated or the AR-15 parts we offer at www.del-ton.com, please feel free to contact us.
*Brotherhood of Warriors, Aaron Cohen
**Interview with former Duvdevan operator, Garret Machine on www.realfighting.com
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Sometimes there is power in understatement. Many special operations units have intriguing or even fear-inducing names...The elite unit of the Georgian military is simply known as, The Special Forces Brigade. It may not sound all that "cool", but as someone who has trained with members of this unit, I believe their skills and capabilities to be unquestionably elite. A couple of decades ago, Georgians were part of the Soviet Union. Georgia became an sovereign state in 1991, but its initial government (s) experienced a fairly tumultuous beginning. It wasn't until 2003-2004, after yet another political revolution, that reforms were instituted to stabilize and strengthen the nation's government and military.
Small teams of individuals with special skills and who underwent some form of special operations training were active immediately after the state gained its independence. As stated earlier, the nation struggled as opposing political forces backed by their own armies fought for control and power. Many of these "special forces" units/operators had previous training and experience in past conflicts, but since the political environment was so fluid, there was not much in the way of training standardization or structure. Soon after, Turkish and other NATO advisors formulated and instituted a professional training doctrine to begin a quality special operations capability and school for future development.
The Brigade's operations headquarters is located in the national capital of Tibilisi, but unit bases are located throughout the nation. The Special Forces Brigade served along side U.S. and NATO troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003-2008. In 2008, the unit was called home to deal with pressing domestic threats and needs. It has been reported that they were involved in a very tangible way with USSOCOM components in Operation Enduring Freedom--quite probable since Georgian Armed Forces units have served in OEF alongside the U.S. Marines, and have received praise from NATO command staff for their combat medical skills in this theater.
Training and Equipment:
Modeled after other highly successful NATO special forces training systems, the Georgian Special Forces Brigade provides excellent and thorough instruction for potential unit members. Schools of instruction include an Airborne School and Ranger School. Upon successful completion of these two phases of instruction, candidates may apply for The Special Forces Ranger School. If an applicant succeeds in this course of instruction, he may be admitted to The Special Forces School. In each course of instruction, students are trained in airborne and airmobile operations, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain), combat medical skills, advanced land navigation, and mountaineering. It is reported that, from start to finish in these phases of instruction, there is a less than ten percent success rate. Sounds pretty elite to me.
A multitude of weapons have been employed by the Georgian Armed Forces due to the nature of events the Georgian military has experienced. Russian military weapons were extensively used in the early days of the nation's forces; as NATO political, financial, and military support increased, so did NATO weapons. AR-15/M4 (M4A1) weapon platforms have been the primary battle rifle used by the regular army and The Special Forces Brigade. Recently, the Heckler and Koch HK416 has been issued and in use; the Georgian military has even designed and begun production on a similar model known as the G5, as an alternative to the M4A1. The main difference in the HK416/G5 and the M4A1 is that the former uses a piston operating system rather than the standard AR direct gas impingement system.
The Georgian Special Forces Brigade is truly and elite special operations unit that has been of genuine assistance to U.S. forces in the GWOT; their selection to use the AR platform to defend their nation and fight against terrorism is further evidence of the amazing value and dependability of this weapon. Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the AR-15 rifles we produce at Del-Ton, Inc. or the parts we offer at www.del-ton.com, please contact us.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Our previous blog post in this series highlighted Shayetet 13, a special operations element of the Israeli Navy. If Shayetet 13 bears a resemblance to the U.S. Navy's Seal Teams (and since they share the same design history and train together, they do), then Sayeret Matkal can be viewed as strikingly similar to the U.S. Army's Special Forces elements.
Unit History And Operations:
Sayeret Matkal may be understood as General Staff Reconnaissance Unit in Hebrew. The unit originated officially around 1957, and took part in active operations during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and Operation Wrath of God (detailed in the previous blog entry). Due to the threat of terrorism in Israel, the unit's activity has been and remains quite high. Their main tasks consist of deep reconnaissance (intelligence gathering), direct action raids, counter-terrorism, and hostage rescue. This last function is what may have gained them the most notoriety.
|IDF Lt. Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu|
Sayeret Matkal has been involved in more recent (2006) missions of known importance as well. Unit members performed reconnaissance tasks and collected evidence to support Operation Orchid, where IDF airstrikes were carried out to destroy a secret nuclear facility within Syria. Though Syria denies having a nuclear facility, post mission analysis, CIA intelligence, and evidence collected by the International Atomic Energy Agency seem to prove otherwise.
Unit Weapons, the AR-15/M-16:
The weapons used by the operators in Sayeret Matkal are similar to those used by many IDF elements. Battle rifles chambered in 5.56X45 Nato include the historic Galil and more recent and innovative Tavor bullpup style rifles. The main battle rifle throughout the IDF, however, is the AR-15/M-16 platform. It is seen in use by multiple elements in a variety of configurations. M16A1 style rifles are used by many "regular army" IDF units, including federal law enforcement and border guard entities. These weapons are often allocated to and used by civilians for defense. M4 variants and configurations with much shorter barrels/overall lengths tend to be those most used by elite units within the IDF. The Colt Commando/XM-177 style rifle with an A1 upper and 11.5" barrel is noticeable in photographs of various IDF special operations units.
A number of companies produce and market AR-15 rifles and parts in Israel. FAB Defense/Mako Group, Gilboa Rifles, and Meprolight sights and optics are all manufacturers of quality and literally "battle tested" AR-15 components.
While special operations units have at their service the latest in weapons and accessories to perform their mission, it is at least interesting and perhaps educational to notice (in rare photos of the units) that many of the AR platform weapons are "arranged" in a farily basic manner. There may be some mission specific accessories mounted and employed, but it is rare to see them weighed down with a zillion unnecessary attachments. This may be an even more powerful point considering the operational tempo in which the IDF in general, and Israeli special operations units in particular experience. Just something to consider...the weapon (regardless of features) doesn't make you tactical-you make the weapon tactical.
The use of the AR weapon platform by the IDF and Sayeret Matkal is simply another testament to the amazing capability of this rifle to excel in the purpose of its design. Thanks for reading our blog; if you have any question regarding the AR-15 rifles we manufacture or the parts we offer at www.del-ton.com, please feel free to contact us.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
|S-13 Operators with Galil and M4 rifles|
During the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, terrorists from the Palestinian group "Black September" took 11 Israeli Olympians hostage and later murdered them. A few days later, the Israeli government met this cowardly attack with an intense bombing raid by around 75 IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) aircraft on terrorist targets in Syria and Lebanon. This initial response was named Operation Wrath of God and also included IDF ground troops infiltrating Lebanon to attack specific targets. Some high ranking government officials believed more had to be done to avenge the terrorist attack and prevent further attacks from happening, so a veritable hit list of high ranking terrorists was established and special forces units within the IDF were assigned to carry out these assassinations. One of those units was Shayetet (Flotilla) 13, the elite special operations unit of the Israeli Navy. In Operation Spring of Youth, in April of 1973, unit personnel infiltrated the beaches of Lebanon where agents from the top-secret Israeli intelligence unit Mossad were waiting to transport them in rental cars to target sites. In the operation, over 100 terrorists were killed, including 3 top PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) leaders. The IDF personnel suffered 2 casualties.
|S-13 members with Prime Minister Peres|
The unit was founded in 1948 and "made public" in 1960. It was at this time that members of the unit began wearing the famous unit insignia of a sword and shield surrounded by bat wings. While the unit took part in operations throughout various conflicts in the 1960's and 1970's, the operation detailed above and more recent activities have earned the unit an esteemed reputation in the special operations community. In the last decade, S-13 has taken part in many direct action assaults against terrorist targets in Palestinian populated areas of Israel. S-13 has recently "made news" performing boarding assaults against ships trying to break through the IDF naval blockade of Gaza. Ships from Antigua and Turkey carrying arms and munitions destined for terrorists in Gaza were intercepted and these weapons never made it into the terrorist's hands.
Like many special forces units, S-13's activities, training, unit size, and other details are kept highly confidential. There are reported to be 3 distinct "troops" within S-13. The Raids Palga (troop), is tasked with direct action assaults, hostage rescue, and counter terrorism operations. The Diving Palga focuses on maritime sabotage, reconnaissance, and sub-surface offensive actions. Finally, the Surface Palga provides transportation of the other troop's personnel to sites via fast attack watercraft, and participates in direct action assaults against vessels and coastal targets. While the Raids Palga is the largest in size and has the most highly trained personnel, all 3 troops work together to accomplish mission objectives.
Training and Equipment:
|S-13 operator with CQBR and Trijicon ACOG|
Shayetet 13 is a top tier special operations unit and their confidence in and use of the AR weapon platform for critical missions is just another testament to the amazing ability of this weapon platform to be a useful and dependable tool for many applications. Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the AR-15 rifles we manufacture or the parts we offer at www.del-ton.com, please feel free to contact us.
Friday, September 20, 2013
In the Bible, in the Book of Proverbs, King Solomon writes, "A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born for times of adversity." In a world facing the threat and experiencing the reality of terrorism, this truth can be encouraging and empowering. Many nations came to the aid of the United States following the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. A few of those nations have been with us from the very start and are still fighting this evil along side of us; one of those nations is Canada. In this post, we will provide some information on their military's elite special operations unit, Joint Task Force 2.
JTF 2 is based on a 200 acre facility in Dwyer Hill, near the national capital of Ottawa. The unit has been active in theatres such as Haiti, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Much like their U.S. "counterparts" (DEVGRU and/or Special Forces Detachment-Delta), JTF-2 is highly secretive and the Canadian government and military does not release much confirmable information regarding unit size, tactics, training, etc...due to operational security considerations.
Official military unit recruitment advertisements mention 3 distinct
personnel categories of which the unit consists. Category A members are "assaulters" (obviously tasked with direct action and who make up the core of the unit in terms of tactics and performance). Category B members are "technical specialists" that provide support to Category A personnel, and from this information appear to perform very specific tasks such as mobility (similar to U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Combat Craft Crewmembers). Category C members are strictly unit support personnel. Category A and B recruits receive four phases of selection. The first two are mostly administrational and investigative. The third is a high stress diagnostic phase to measure the potential the recruit will succeed in the final phase, where unit specific training is provided.
Like most special forces units, JTF 2 has more freedom in the selection of weapons they may use than their conventional military counterparts. Photographs taken in the War on Terror (OEF and OIF) show Canadian special forces members using the Colt Canada (previously Diemaco) C8SFW and C8CQB rifles. The SFW model has a 16" heavy profile barrel and can be mounted with the Heckler & Koch AG-C 40mm grenade launcher. The CQB model is very similar to U.S. Mark 18 Mod 0 rifle; it has a much shorter 10.3" barrel, making it ideal for close quarters battle tactics. These are typically enhanced with optics from ELCAN (C79 sight) and EOTech. More information on these weapons can be found in previous blog posts in this series on British and Norwegian elite military units that employ the AR weapon platform.
Members of JTF 2 have provided "hands on", immense assistance to U.S. special operations units in the fight against terrorism. For detailed accounts of their activity and operations, please link to this article from the Toronto Star newspaper, online.
We hope you are enjoying this series on special operations units that use the AR weapon platform and want to thank you for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the AR-15 rifles we manufacture or the parts we offer at www.del-ton.com, please contact us.
Information and images presented in this article were acquired from militaryphotos.net, specialoperations.com, The Toronto Star (Allan Woods, 20100425), and The Ottawa Citizen (David Pugliese, 19930602).
Saturday, August 31, 2013
On November 6, 1985, thirty-five terrorists from the M-19 terrorist group stormed the Supreme Court building of the South American nation of Colombia and held around 300 people hostage. Included in that number where both supreme court justices and other political leaders. Negotiations failed and it appeared an assault would be required. Hours after the attack, an initial assault was made by the Colombian Army resulting in freed hostages and neutralized terrorists on the first two floors of the building. The following day a final assault took place. When the building was retaken and the terrorist threat eradicated, the death toll reached 120 (including innocents, 11 justices, 48 military members, and terrorists). There was significant damage to both the building and many of the records it housed. When the terrorist assault occurred, there was no real special operations level unit in the Colombian military or police force. This terrible event was a catalyst for creating a special forces capability throughout the Colombian military and law enforcement community.
Colombia has experienced additional terrorism since, and continues to face threats from a number of terrorist groups within its borders. Each military branch and most police units of the larger cities in the nation currently have well trained special operations units. In this blog post, we will briefly highlight the Colombian Army's AFEUR (Agrupacion de Fuerzas Especiales Antiterroristas Urbanas), or Urban Counter Terrorist Special Forces Group.
The AFEUR main unit headquarters and training facilities are located near the capital, Bogota. Smaller sub-units exist, posted in various larger, urban areas throughout the country. Colombia has a fairly large number of SF capable units in its various military branches and law enforcement divisions, with very specific operational purposes and capabilities including kidnapping prevention and interdiction, hostage rescue, and narcotics eradication and enforcement. AFEUR has a particular focus on direct action/assaults, hostage rescue, and personnel protection, all in the context of counter-terrorism. The unit was tasked with providing security for U.S. President Clinton during his visit in 2000, and President Bush in 2004. AFEUR also routinely provides this service for Colombian political officials including the President. Political officials and government buildings are likely targets for terrorist operations, so it makes sense that AFEUR would be trained for and assigned to focus on this type of operation.
The AFEUR main unit is composed of around 100 members, coordinated in 15 man teams that include 2 officers and 13 operators. AFEUR uses a wide variety of weapons; in regard to battle rifles, operators commonly use the AR platform weapons (usually the M16A2 and M4) and the IMI/IWI TAR (Tavor) in various configurations. Because of the ongoing and real threat of terrorism faced by the Colombian people and AFEUR members, the unit has a very high training and operational schedule. Their choice of these two battle rifles shows a confidence in the ability of these weapons to be dependable in the defense of life and nation.
Thanks for reading our blog. If you have any questions about the AR-15 rifles we manufacture or the rifle kits, complete upper assemblies, or any of the parts we sell at www.del-ton.com, please contact us.