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Maglan (Hebrew: מגלן. Also known as Unit 212 or Sayeret Maglan) is an Israeli Special Forces unit which specializes in operating behind enemy lines and deep in enemy territory using advanced technologies and weaponry.
The unit's name means "Ibis" (In Hebrew: Maglan). According to one officer, "Maglan is a bird that knows how to adapt in every situation." A relatively new unit, Maglan was founded in 1986, but their presence only became publicly known in 2006.
Very little is known about the unit, only that the force performs top secret operations behind enemy lines, deep within hostile territory. The IDF keeps Maglan's designated missions a secret and gives no information about it or the operations in which the unit takes part. The secretive unit has clocked-up countless hours of high-risk operations conducted well behind enemy lines - most of which have never been declassified.
Like Sayeret Matkal, although the operators in the unit wear a red beret, brown combat boots and conduct basic training at one of the paratroopers' bases, they are not part of the Paratroop Brigade. Soldiers also do not wear the insignia of the unit in public. Maglan has an 18 month training program (6 months of basic training and 12 months of specialized combat training), with exercises such as navigation, camouflage, and observation exercises. Physical standards are high, with candidates required to carry equipment weighing about 70% of their body mass over several dozen kilometers. About one-third of the candidates drop out due to the harsh nature of the program. The training program is known to be one of the toughest in the IDF. Much like Sayeret Matkal, Maglan answers to the IDF's General Staff and not to one of its regional commands.
During the Second Lebanon War, the unit took part in many operations and achieved great success. 'Operation Beach-Boys saw the unit embedded along the western coastal strip of Lebanon where they destroyed 150 Hezbollah targets, forty of which were rocket launchers. Maglan oversaw the destruction of command sites, trucks, caches of ammunition and infrastructure. Their activities reduced rocket fire on Israel's northern towns by about 40%.
During Operation Protective Edge on July 30, 2014, three soldiers from the elite Maglan unit, St.-Sgt. Matan Gotlib (21), St.-Sgt. Omer Hay (21) and St.-Sgt. Guy Algranati (20) were killed and 15 others wounded by explosions in a booby-trapped tunnel.
Recruits train extensively for 18 months in what is considered to be one of the most challenging training courses in the IDF. The trainees have 6 months of basic training and advanced training within the Paratroopers Brigade, including a parachuting course. The soldiers then must complete a 100 km (62 mi) beret march (Hebrew: Masa Kumta) to Maglan's base to continue their training. The recruits go through courses in navigation, camouflage, observation, specialized warfare, and special operational devices. Each recruit also goes through the IDF's commander's course. Towards the end of training, the recruits learn specific skills according to the speciality of their unit. The end of training ceremony is held secretly and closed to the public.
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