Polo Shirt with OKETZ unit.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Oketz Unit (Hebrew: éçéãú òå÷õ, lit. sting), is the independent canine special forces (sayeret) unit of the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded in 1939 as part ofHaganah. It was dismantled at 1954. At 1974, a new unit was built by Yossi Labock, who was its first commander. The unit specializes in training and handling dogs for military applications. Originally, Oketz trained dogs to attack kidnappers, but training has since become more specialized, and now each dog is trained in a particular specialty. Attack dogs are trained to operate in both urban and rural areas (they were used extensively in Lebanon). Other dogs are trained to track and pursue selected targets for manhunts and to detect breaches at the Israeli border. In addition, yet more dogs are trained to search for guns and munitions, to sniff out hidden explosives, and to find people in collapsed buildings.
Oketz operators are often assigned to other units when said units are in need of their specialist skills, for example, the extraction of terrorists from fortified buildings. Though not affiliated with the IDF Paratroopers Brigade, Oketz operators wear the same distinctive red berets and the unit's graduation ceremony is held at the Paratroopers headquarters. However, in order to join Oketz, the recruit must choose the Kfir Infantry Brigade as their preferred choice in the request form and then pass the unit's trials.