Airplane Security Unit

The IAF Airplane Security Unit is a SF unit which protect IAF transport and passenger airplanes during overseas missions. Such missions include the Israeli Prime Minister and other dignitaries' flights in IAF airplanes, SAR and medical assistance flights to natural disasters area and terror attacks locations as well as joint training missions. The unit’s operators also provide perimeter security around the airplanes and screening for boarding passengers, therefore preventing the presence of explosives and weapons near the aircraft and on board.

As the case with the IDF VIP Protection unit, the IAF Airplane Security Unit capabilities partially overlap with those of the equivalent outfit in the Israeli General Security Service. However, the unit provides security only to IAF airplanes and missions rather then civilian or commercial flights.

The unit was formed in the early 1990’s and in its beginning was made of graduates of various IAF SF units, who have passed additional airplane security training. In the late 1990’s the unit was reorganized and began to recruit professional security personnel, who are current or former employees of the Israeli General Security Service or the Israeli Airport Authority.

The unit is one of the handful reserve SF units in the IDF along with LOTAR Eilat and Alpinistim. While the unit is based primarily on reserve operators, it also has a small non-reserve team made of mandatory service operators, who are dropouts from various elite IDF SF units. These operators undergo a three weeks CT course in the IDF Counter Terror School, which places a special focus on airplane security elements such as airplane hostage rescue raids tactics. In addition to the CT course, the new operators also undergo several weeks of inner-unit training and few training flights until they are qualified as warriors in the unit.

Operators from the IAF Airplane Security Unit during handguns range training (photo: IAF).

Operators from the IAF Airplane Security Unit armed with Mini Uzi standing in front of an IAF UH60 helicopter (photo: IAF).

Operators from the IAF Airplane Security Unit standing next to an IAF UH60 helicopter during briefing (photo: IAF).

Units Guide