This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Israeli, US special forces practice ship takeovers amid tensions Persian Gulf


Israeli and American special forces simulate taking over a merchant ship carrying contraband the Mediterranean Sea as part of a large naval exercise Nobel Rose in August 2019.


Israeli US special forces practice ship takeovers amid high tensions in Gulf 925 001 Israeli and American special forces simulate taking over a merchant ship carrying contraband the Mediterranean Sea (Picture source: Israel Defense Forces)


Israeli and American naval special forces completed a large-scale exercise in the Mediterranean Sea last week simulating the takeover of a merchant ship carrying illegal weapons and contraband, as Iran and a US-led coalition square off on shipping routes in the nearby Persian Gulf.

Israel’s elite naval commando unit, known in Hebrew as Shayetet 13, participated in the drill alongside US Special Forces. An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson refused to comment on the precise number of troops that took part in the exercise, but said it was “larger than what we’ve done before.” According to Conricus, the Israeli and American troops worked “shoulder to shoulder” during this part of the drill.

During the exercise, which concluded last Wednesday, the special forces soldiers simulated a number of scenarios, including “regaining control of a hijacked ship and extracting forces from enemy territory,” the military said in a statement.

“In the exercise, advanced and varied capabilities of the Israeli Navy’s Commando Unit were displayed, including taking over a vessel by parachuting from a plane, climbing, rappelling, sniping, and medical evacuation,” the military said.

The Israeli military said the exercise, Noble Rose 2019, was not in direct response to these tensions.