Women Allowed to Serve in Elite IDF Search and Rescue Unit for First Time
Unit 669 (Aviation Rescue and Evacuation Unit) is a special unit of the Israel Defence Forces Air Force, created in December 1974. The main task of the unit is to search and rescue pilots of downed Air Force planes or helicopters in various conditions, including behind enemy lines and at sea.
For the first time, women have been allowed to serve in the Israeli Air Force’s elite 669 Special Rescue Unit.
On Friday, IDF's chief of staff, lieutenant-general Aviv Kohavi approved the recommendation of the head of Israel's Air Force, major-general Tomer Bar, to allow women to fill combat roles in Unit 669, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“The Air Force is a pioneer in the field of integrating women into all roles and, in particular, into combat roles. The Commander of the Air Force concluded that wherever it was possible physiologically and operationally to integrate women, the Air Force would do so,” Kohavi said.
Selection for Unit 669 will be conducted in accordance with present operational requirements to ensure that the unit continues to perform its tasks at a high level, according to him.
The elite unit specialises in rescuing downed pilots, evacuating soldiers from behind the frontline, as well as evacuating the wounded from the battlefield.
According to IDF
, today, 95 percent of Air Force jobs are open to both men and women, including aircrew members, air defence fighters, flight mechanics, flight doctors and paramedics.