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Meet 669: the IDF’s Elite Airborne Evacuation and Rescue Unit

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For soldiers in 669, the IDF’s Airborne Combat Rescue and Evacuation Unit, every day is unpredictable. After all, this special forces rescue unit is dispatched when things go horribly wrong, from rescuing wounded soldiers, to civilians in need of emergency aerial evacuation.

As one of the most elite units in the IDF, candidates go through grueling testing, tryouts, and 18 months of intense training. They become experts in survival; rescue at sea, under fire, and at night; as well as urban warfare, and complete full medic training. 669 responds to emergencies both in Israel and abroad. After the earthquakes in Haiti in 2010 and Nepal in 2015, unit members were part of the IDF’s rescue missions. And in 2018 they were sent to assist the rescue of a Jordanian school bus that was swept away in a flash flood. It makes sense that this unit’s motto is “In distress you called and I rescued you” — in a time of need, 669 is on its way.

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