|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.