Following the many successes on the battlefield: the “Oketz” or “canine special forces” will triple its size within five years

Photo: Screenshot IDF youtube video, Oketz Canine Unit
The IDF canine unit, which operates under the Mountain Brigade, operates non-stop in the Gaza Strip. The demand for the fighters of the special unit is increasing, so it was decided to increase the unit 3 times.

Marom Brigade is responsible for many special units. Among the units we can name the ‘Oketz’ meaning, ‘Sting’ unit, the School of Combating Terrorism, the BLM operational mobility unit and the firing formation. The entire brigade is expected to be significantly strengthened, following the prolonged fighting and the growing demand for special unit fighters.

The Oketz Unit takes an integral part in the fighting, and its fighters join all IDF units. The fighters join the fighting companies, along with the dogs, and help the forces in checking areas for explosives and other various tasks. Thanks to the fighters on all fours, the lives of many soldiers lives were saved. 30 of the unit’s dogs were killed since the beginning of the fighting. The last one was an oketz dog, which was killed as part of a paratrooper’s activity in the Jabaliya refugee camp. The dog was sent to check a house and it did not return. When they sent a drone to look for the dog, they realized that terrorists had killed the warrior on all fours; they booby trapped the dog. The soldiers were careful and did not fall into the trap of the terrorists. The explosives that was on the dog’s body was carefully neutralized, and the dog was brought to an honorable burial in Israel.

The unit purchased dozens of new dogs from abroad for various tasks. The following are the words of an officer in the city in the Marom Brigade: “The unit has become a world-class pioneer in many unique professional issues of fighting with dogs in the fighting in Gaza, and with female fighters who operate deep in enemy territory, for sensitive tasks of identifying bodies. And also for special tasks to detect explosives.”

In addition to increasing the number of fighters in the unit, both the fighters on two and the fighters on all fours, additional technological capabilities were added to the unit. Oketz purchased dozens of kits that are able to connect to the dog, and broadcast live to its handlers. The dogs help in identifying traps, arresting suspects and locating bodies.

In addition to the strengthening of the Sting Unit, the Hamrom Brigade will begin to recruit female fighters to serve in another unit under it, as instructors.
In addition, a new drone section will be established in the division. This is due to the understanding and recognition of the need for drones to optimize combat.

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