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The Paratrooper Commando unit [Sayeret Tsanchanim], the reconnaissance company (PALSAR) of the Paratroopers Brigade, is one of the elite units in the IDF. Today it is regarded as the IDF's longest-established special forces unit aside from the Navy's Commando unit, Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13). The Commando Unit has a long and fine heritage. Soldiers are chosen from those who join the Paratroopers after undergoing a long selection process. Soldiers selected for this unit undergo basic training, advanced training, and are also trained in parachuting, reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, navigation, camouflage, and urban combat.  
 
The Commando Unit was established in 1954 by Meir HarZion from the famous Unit 101. The Commando Unit underwent a number of organic changes and in 1956 became the independent reconnaissance company of the Paratroopers Brigade. The Unit has a long history of military operations including the following: Black Arrow, Egged, Har Ga'ash, Alei Zayit, Gulliver, Lulav and Shomron – during the period of retaliatory operations in the 1950s; the battle on the northern ridge of the Mitla Pass during Operation Kadesh; the occupation of Rafah [Rafiach] and Qantarah in Egypt during the Six Day War; Operation Helem in Naj Hammadi deep inside Egypt; Tarnegol '53 and Aviv Neurim.

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Commando Unit penetrated into Eastern Syria to disrupt the supply of reinforcements and provisions entering Syria from Iraq. The Commando Unit gained control of the new air terminal during the Entebbe Operation in Uganda. During the Litani Operation and the First Lebanese War, it led the paratrooper's brigade forces deep into Lebanon. In the Hok Veseder Operation, the IDF's first significant operation waged against the Hizballah forces, the Commando Unit gained control of the northern part of the village, Maidon. In the Second Lebanese War, the Commando Unit entered the village of Maroun al-Ras and during a heroic battle against the Hizballah, managed to kill 26 terrorists and occupy the village without sustaining any casualties. The Company received a citation for the unit's actions during the war.

The Paratroopers Commando Unit provided a source of manpower and a structural basis for other elite units such as Sayeret Matkal, Shaldag, Maglan, Meitar, Duvdevan and Egoz. Graduates of the Paratroopers Commando Unit serve in the reconnaissance company of the Paratroopers' Reserves Brigade.

Since its establishment, the Paratroopers Commando Unit has been led by 42 commanders and many of them have gone on to hold key positions of leadership and influence both within the IDF and in the Israeli society at large. Included among the Unit's leaders are Moshe Levi, Moshe Ya'alon (Bogie) and Shaul Mofaz who later became Commanders in Chief of the Israel Defense Forces; Matan Vilnai and Shaul Mofaz - are Ministers in the current Government. Others became the commanding officers of the different regional commands, brigade commanders, and took on key positions within the Israeli society.

The Paratrooper Commando Unit is one of the leading counterterrorist units in the IDF. In recent years, the unit has been active primarily in Judea and Samaria where it has actively thwarted terrorist attacks and arrested many known terrorists. Recently, the Unit has seen active duty in Gaza and on the West Bank.

Over the years, the Commando Unit has lost 81 of its soldiers.