Combat Intelligence Collection Corps Special Forces

Overview


While the IDF strategic intelligence gathering capabilities were always excellent, its tactical intelligence gathering capabilities were lacking with various units were conducting tactical intelligence gathering using uncoordinated methods and gear. The units themselves range from regular units to reserve units and even small dedicated teams assigned to SF units.

In order to rectify this situation, in 2000 the IDF formed the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, and assigning the previously independent units under it. These units gained significantly from the new corps formation, including more structured organization, training and deployment. As the youngest corps among the IDF Ground Corps, the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps had undergone frequent changes since its formation, reflecting the changes in the IDF - the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, the clashes in the Territories and the budgetary restrains.

Insignias from left to right - Shaaf, Nit'zan and Nesher.

Today, the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps is comprised of five battalions:

  • Shaaf - assigned to the IDF Northern Command

  • Ait - assigned to the IDF Northern Command

  • Nit'zan - assigned to the IDF Central Command

  • Nesher - assigned to the IDF Southern Command

  • Eitam - assigned to the IDF Southern Command

The battalions are largely similar in training and gear and differ from each other primarily in the area of operations they are assigned to.

The battalions are made of regular companies, in which most of the soldiers serve, as well as special companies comprised of experienced soldiers. These companies are SF capable and are fitted with better gear. They are tasked with the battalions' most demanding missions either and operate either independently or in joint operations with other SF units when long range intelligence gathering and surveillance are required.

The Combat Intelligence Collection Corps' Special Companies insignias from left to right: Shaaf, Nit'zan and Nesher.

Deployment


The special companies operate in small teams that manned covert and overt observation posts along the Israeli borders. As the soldiers spend most of their service at the same geographical area they become intimately familiar with that region and are able to provide valuable intelligence insights.

During peacetime the units assist in:

  • Securing Israeli borders against infiltration.

  • Gathering intelligence on nearby enemy forces and movements.

  • Providing real time intelligence gathering to IDF units during deployment.

  • Conducting SF missions either independently or with other SF units.

During wartime, the special companies gather intelligence and target artillery's fire.

Training


The units' training regime is 12 month long consisting of the following phases:

  • Four months basic infantry training phase.

  • Four months specialized training, which covers camouflage, navigation, intelligence gathering and cooperation with artillery units.

  • Four months advanced training, which focus on advanced tactics and equipment.

  • After the training is concluded, several operators from each unit are sent to the Corp's NCO course,

Combat Intelligence Collection Corps Special Forces Guide