65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade

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65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade
65th NOHED Brigade
23rd Airborne Special Forces Brigade (formerly)
Coat of arms
Active 1992–present
Country Iran
Branch Iranian Army
Type Airborne
Role Special operations
Size Brigade
Part of 23rd Commando Division (until 1991)
Garrison/HQ Baghshah (formerly)
Mehrabad International Airport
Nickname(s) Green berets (کلاه سبزها)
Colors Green
March 18 April
Amir Khosro Khosravi
Aircraft flown
Multirole helicopter Bell 214
Bell UH-1N Twin Huey (Bell 212)
Transport Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Boeing CH-47 Chinook

65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade (Persian: تیپ ۶۵ نیروهای ویژه هوابرد‎), or 65th NOHED Brigade (تیپ ۶۵ نوهد), is one of the Iranian Army Takavaran (Special Forces) unit. Formerly being called 23rd Airborne Special Forces Brigade, it was established in 1959 and was part of 23rd Commando Division for some time during Iran-Iraq War.


In 1953, 10 Iranian Imperial Army officers were sent to France for airborne training. After returning to Iran, they established the Airborne Unit (واحد چتربازی) in 1955, which was renamed as the Airborne Brigade (گردان چتربازی) in 1959. In the same year, the 23rd Special Forces Brigade (تیپ ۲۳ نیروهای ویژه) was established, consisted of 5 operational battalions, one support battalion, one communication platoon, one base company, and an unconventional warfare school. In 1970, the unit renamed to 23rd Airborne Special Forces Brigade (تیپ ۲۳ نیروهای ویژه هوابرد). A year later, a hostage rescue unit and a mental warfare company were added to the structure of the brigade.

Members of 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade and 55th Airborne Brigade of Shiraz

After the 1979 Revolution, the brigade turned into the 23rd Division (لشکر ۲۳), and later 23rd Commando Division (لشکر ۲۳ تکاور). In 1991, the 3rd Brigade was separated from the division and the 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade (تیپ ۶۵ نیروهای ویژه هوابرد), or the 65th NOHED Brigade (تیپ ۶۵ نوهد) was formed with Afsariyeh as its headquarters.[1] [2] It is sometimes simply called NOHED Brigade (تیپ نوهد). The word NOHED (نوهد), also transliterated as NOWHED,[3] is the Persian acronym for Nīrūhāye Vīzheye Havābord (نیروهای ویژه هوابرد), meaning "Airborne Special Forces".

After the Nojeh coup plot in 1980 which was planned to be done using the NOHED unit, then-Parliament-member Hassan Rouhani called for disbanding the unit in the parliament, saying that "they are dangerous". Defense minister Mostafa Chamran strongly opposed.[4]

Operational history[edit]

During the Dhofar Rebellion in Oman, the unit, which was being called 23rd Airborne Special Forces Brigade, was one of the Iranian units participated in the war.

After the 1979 Revolution, the brigade participated in various clashes in provinces of Khuzestan, Sistan-o-Baluchestan (fighting drug trafficking and terrorism), and Kordestan (fighting PJAK and Komalah).

When Iraq invaded Iran, the brigade, which was 23rd Airborne Special Forces Brigade back then and later turned into 23rd Division, was stationed in southern and north western regions. They participated in major operations such as Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas and Operation Karbala-5, and had activities in strategic mountains of Dopaza and Laklak in Sardasht, and in western regions in general. Some units of the brigade were present in Siege of Abadan. During the war, some personnel of the brigade were performing special operations under direct command of Mostafa Chamran.


One of the training camps is located in jungles of Kelardasht, in which jungle warfare is trained during spring. The winter training camp is in Emamzadeh Hashem, in which there is a ski resort dedicated to the brigade, used for training snow warfare. The summer camp is located at Karaj Dam. Another camp is located in the desert of Qom, in which desert warfare is trained.

Hostage Rescue Unit[edit]

The Hostage Rescue Unit of the 65th Airborne Special Forces Brigade, training a hostage rescue mission
The Insignia of the Hostage Rescue Unit

The Hostage Rescue Unit is one of the units of the brigade, which has its own base in Mehrabad International Airport. According to the brigade commander Khosravi, the hostage rescue forces of the brigade are "our most elite forces". This unit cooperates with security organizations.[5]

The unit has a special insignia.

Equipment and insignia[edit]

They are recognizable due to their use of safariflage DPM pattern camouflage. They wear a tactical vest and a green beret. The patch of the 65th is a dagger and golden wing superimposed over a green parachute and is located on the left shoulder. The MPT-9S (Iranian-built collapsible stock variant of MP5) is their standard weapon, replacing the older Uzi.[6]