GAZA BORDER, ISRAEL - DECEMBER 28: (ISRAEL OUT) Israeli army special forces are deployed on December 28, 2008 at the Gaza Israel border. Israel launched a massive wave of air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza yesterday, killing at least 155 Palestinians and wounding hundreds more. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel's High Command announced Monday the establishment of a new Ccommando Bbrigade to fall under the command of the 98th Paratrooper's Division.
Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkott, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, announced July 6 that the new Ccommando Bbrigade would consolidate four elite infantry units of the regular army: Egoz (Almond), part of the Golani Brigade; Rimon (Pomegranate), part of the Givati Brigade; Duvdevan (Cherry) from Central Command and Maglan of the military's combat engineering force.
The new Ccommando Bbrigade will "improve joint operations of special forces in emergency [conditions]" and serve as "decisive front lines of the IDF against future challenges of the enemy."
Col. David Zainy has been appointed commander of the new Commando Bbrigade, according to the July 6 announcement.
The new Commando Bbrigade will be patterned after the US Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, but will be commanded by the 98th Paratrooper's Division rather than a new Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
Elite commando forces such as Sayeret Matkal, the IDF General Staff's Reconnaissance Unit; the Shaldag (Kingfisher) airborne commando unit and the Israel Navy's Flotilla 13 will continue to operate autonomously under traditional command chains or, in certain special missions, under joint command of the IDF's new Depth Command, which reports directly to Eisenkott and the IDF General Staff.
Opall-Rome is Israel bureau chief for Defense News. She has been covering U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation, Mideast security and missile defense since May 1988. She lives north of Tel Aviv. Visit her website at www.opall-rome.com.