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War has changed. New tactics and advancing technology have morphed the face of the battlefield and it is no longer as simple as it used to be. With threats getting stronger and more advanced every day, many countries have started to evolve some of their elite units to face the on coming battles. None are quite as unique and as clever as Israel's newest Special Forces unit, “Refaim”.
While most of the elite SF Units were established decades ago. Refaim was established in 2019 to be the most modern and technologically advanced SF unit on the battlefield.
Refaim, translated to ghosts, is Israel's newest multi dimensional elite unit. It is composed of soldiers from the IDFs multiple branches such as the air force, armored corps, intelligence, telecommunications, cyber and reconnaissance, while also recruiting the best soldiers from its special forces units such as maglan, yahalom and duvdevan.
The unit's goal is simple: be as self-reliant and independent as possible, while detecting and exposing its targets. By bringing most of the IDF branches and elite forces together, the IDF created a cohesive, organic unit that shares a unified language, commander and goal.
This aspect though is not new to the world of warfare, what makes Refaim unique is that it is the testing ground for the fundamental change that is happening in the IDF.
With the evolving battlefield Israel understands that it too needs to change, but change is hard and complicated. Refaim wasn’t just created to be a highly advanced unit using all the newest technologies and tactics, but also to serve as a model for the rest of IDFs combat, command and operational structure.
Many of the unit's findings and conclusions have already started to trickle down to the rest of the IDF’s infantry, Airforce, Armor, Navy, Artillery and SF units.
That is why Refaim is in constant training and military exercises, not just to keep up its capabilities, but also to continue to test new technologies and methods to further advance the rest of the IDF’s combat structure and its integrity
With Refaim Israel is thinking of the long term game and preparing for the next decade of military operations.
This is reflected in the unit's insignia. The number 8 warped around a sword, symbolizing the infinite evolution of the unit. Refaim is not a static being, it will change and evolve with its surroundings and it has been doing so since its inception.
Although the unit's missions have so far been kept a secret, it has been confirmed that they have been operationally active since 2020 and they already have taken part in some of Israel's recent conflicts and wars.
Refaim is not only just preparing for the future, it is the future of the battlefield and the IDF.
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