July 15, 2015:
Israel is reorganizing some of its special operations units by putting four separate special operations battalions together into one brigade. The new brigade will be part of the parachute division and will make the special skills of these four battalions available on a wide scale. Some members of these four units are complaining because the four battalions have different skills and tend to operate in different parts of the country. But the army leaders insist this will not be a problem.
The four battalions are quite different. The Duvdevan battalion spends most of its time in the West Bank carrying out undercover counter-terrorist operations. This is similar to what the American Special Forces concentrates on.
The Maglan battalion is a LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols) specialist that belongs to the combat engineers. The concept of LRRPs is ancient but the modern versions were developed during World War II, and used heavily in Vietnam and in many other places since then.
The Egoz battalion specializes in reconnaissance and counter-terror operations, mainly along the Lebanese and Syrian borders.
The Rimon battalion specializes in desert operations and operates mainly in the south (the Negev Desert and along the Gaza and Egyptian borders).
All of these units belonged to local brigades that needed their special skills on a regular basis. These brigades have been assured that they will still have access to their former battalions but as a specialized battalion that is now part of a brigade that will make these units easily available to the entire armed forces.
These four battalions began as elite infantry units, most of them originally paratroopers that became specialized. The Israelis allow such things to develop because commanders are urged to adapt to local circumstances as much as they can. Meanwhile Israel still has a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) containing commando type units from all the services.