We recently had the opportunity to host a commanding officer from the Oketz Special Forces Canine Unit in our Palm Beach/Broward Region. Due to the nature of the officers security work, we are unable to provide his photo or name for his safety.
The Oketz Special Forces is Counter Terrorism combat unit and works with all other combat forces on specific security missions and tasks throughout the State of Israel. Oketz soldiers and canines are responsible for keeping the borders and check points secure. Every soldier patrolling the border is mandated by the Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, to be accompanied by the Oketz unit and canine. Oketz combat unit has been responsible for stoping more than 200 terrorist threats and possible attacks in central Israel alone.
Oketz Special Combat Forces have one of the best search and rescue units in the world, and have made their expertise available to help others including in Haiti, and Turkey.
Oketz canine units are used to fortify buildings, and these special canines have the ability to detect a breach of the borders with mere a break in the sand. The canines are adept at tracking terrorists for 20 kilometers.
Other canines are specially skilled with smelling out explosives, and can detect a threat the size if a bullet. These canines are responsible for searching for possible threats before Israeli high ranking officials speak in an area or building, including keeping the Israeli Prime Minister, the Chief of Staff and others safe.
Middle School students at the Arthur I. Meyer Jewish Academy in West Palm Beach, had the opportunity to meet the officer and hear about the important work Oketz does protecting our Jewish Homeland. He spoke about the different skills the canines are trained in, and how he lis responsible for training the soldiers in working with the dogs.The officer shared personal stories with the students, and how he too had lost close friends serving their country in the IDF. He described how important roles the dogs play in the security of Israel, and how sometimes they even must give their life protecting others. There is a ceremony given and a special memorial cemetery for all canines who have been killed in the line of duty, and they are respected and considered soldiers of the IDF. The students had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the IDF and how the soldiers work to protect Israel each day.