IDF Combat Diving School


Several IDF SF units undergo a diving course as part of their training regime:

  • Shayetet 13


  • Snapir

  • Shaldag

  • Unit 669

  • Yael

The IDF Combat Diving School is based at different three locations:

  • Haifa Naval Base - the main diving school facility, where units undergo the diving course. The school in Haifa is divided in two beaches - basic diving beach (equal to civilian 2-3 stars) and advanced beach (equal to civilian 5 stars and above).

  • Eilat Naval Base - secondary location for Haifa naval base, it is used when the primary Haifa school in Haifa is at capacity.

  • Atlit Naval Base - Shayetet 13 home base. This school teaches advanced combat diving techniques including maritime demolitions and weapons. Only Shayetet 13 personnel attend this school and training.

A basic diving course held the combat diving school in Haifa or Eilat is four weeks long. All instructors are Shayetet 13 dropouts. Like with other IDF SF courses, each unit receives its own course which customized made to the unit's specific operational needs:

  • Shayetet 13 - the most advanced diving course including close circuit diving systems.

  • YALTAM and Yael - advanced diving course including close circuit diving systems.

  • Unit 669 - basic diving course with open circuit diving systems and also including air-sea rescue techniques.

  • Snapir, Naval Officers Course and Shaldag - basic diving course with open circuit diving systems.

After the course, the units continue to train on their own. During training, and especially before operations, the units are often assisted by Shayetet 13 personnel who demonstrate maritime techniques using the units' own gear and equipment.


Shayetet 13

Shayetet 13 divers during training. Note Atilt Naval Base in the background.


Shayetet 13 operator jumping from an IAF B212 helicopter.


Shayetet 13 divers during underwater demolition training.



YALTAM operator diving with an underwater 8 mm SONY Marine Pack camera with an attached flood lamp, which is seals up to 100 meters (photo: IDF).



Snapir operator patrolling next to a net designed to prevent enemy divers from entering Israeli harbors (photo: IDF).



Unit 669 diver during Reliant Mermaid - an Israeli-American-Turkish joint training SAR exercise, held in January 1998.

Unit 669 during diving training.


669.jpg (47351 bytes)

Same caption as above. The cage in the middle simulates a aircraft cockpit.



PALSAR Givati wearing diving gear during maritime training.



YAHALOM operator wearing diving gear during maritime training. Note the ARMS #02 mount fitted on the CAR15 carry handle. The Model 2 rail has a see thru tunnel which allow the usage of the weapon's iron sights even when an optic is mounted. This setup was commonly used by IDF SF units in the 1990's prior to the introduction of the M4A1 in recent years (photo: IDF).


YAHALOM operator armed with CAR15 and equipped with diving gear boarding a river bank during maritime training (photo: IDF).


YAHALOM operators during maritime training (photo: GPO).



IDF SF operators during maritime training. Note left and right operators armed with Micro Uzi.


IDF SF operator armed with a Negev during maritime training.

Qualifications Guide