On Saturday night, several minutes after 10pm, a “Red Alert” siren was sounded in the Gaza Envelope. “Iron Dome” weapon system combatants from the Air Defense Division, which intercepted the launches towards Israel during the weekend, talk about the critical battle moments
During the day of fighting, which began Saturday evening with a salvo of rockets launched to the Gaza Envelope and continued up until yesterday morning with IAF attacks, some people worked overtime. “Iron Dome” weapon system combatants from the Air Defense Division’s 947th Battalion took part in the battle, defended Israel’s skies and intercepted the launches launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel.
A total of 37 launches towards Israel were identified. “Iron Dome” combatants intercepted at least 16 launches, while two of the rockets fell in Gaza and the rest in open fields. By doing so, they intercepted the rocket strike led by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization which was launched towards the southern settlements under the encouragement of the terror-exporting Iranian regime and as part of the terror enabling atmosphere which Hamas has generated along the Gaza Strip security fence.
“During the entire day we were on shifts and prepared in the ready alert rooms”, shared Capt. Dvir, commander of the “Iron Dome” battery responsible for intercepting the rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. “On Friday night, during Shabbat Dinner, there were many launches towards the Gaza Envelope. The battery’s combatants quickly got to their posts and began intercepting. Out of the dozens of targets launched towards Israel, we intercepted over 15 of them. The remaining targets fell in open fields and were not intercepted relying on the judgment of the commanders in the IMC (Interception Management Center).
On Capt. Dvir’s first day as a battery commander, he successfully performed the mission of defending Israel’s skies: “Last Thursday, I began my job as battery commander. I didn’t expect this to be my welcoming, but there isn’t a better way to get into the swing of things. After seeing the way the battery functioned during the past day, I am proud of them. We acted with determination and sharply to defend the people of Israel”.
Air Defense combatants must make decisions in short periods of time and they have many responsibilities. “I am proud to have the chance to command over the most professional combatants, which have the largest responsibility, in order to perform the most important mission - defending Israel’s home front”, declared Capt. Dvir. “The division organized itself with a full force in accordingly with instructions given from the government. We are prepared for any situation and our only mission is to defend the country’s skies. Once again we proved that the dome is made of iron, and the people of gold”.
SSgt. Guy Man, a combatant form the battery, added: “I was on a shift in the war room during the event. We received the alert regarding the rockets launches towards Israel. I relayed the alerts to the officers and combatants in the IMC. At the same time, I heard that there are targets already in the air towards the Gaza Envelope and we began intercepting. As a citizen of Ashkelon city, i am personally very proud. After every report of a successful interception, my friends and family send me messages that they are proud of me. I feel like I am defending my home. It is very satisfying, yet we remain operational ready for any possible event”.
“All Threats were Successfully Intercepted"
"The Aerial Defense array is widely prepared for a wide range of scenarios”, said Commanding officer of the 947th Battalion, Lt. Col Nir. “Last night, we operated our systems to prevent many rockets from the Gaza Strip to hit Israel. All of the threats that were aimed at populated areas were fully and successfully intercepted. The rest of the threats fell in open areas”.
We are prepared every day of the year, whether it be day or night”, emphasized Capt. Elad, the battalion’s deputy commanding officer. “During the last few weeks we have had to be more alert than usual, so there isn’t a significant distinction between the regular week and the weekend. We are always at the same level of readiness and vigilance. The soldiers in the IMC and the soldiers in the field at the launching sites are all at a very high level of readiness and vigilance.
“There is nothing that can surprise us, we prepare our forces to be ready and to respond very quickly under incredibly short time constraints. Although the teams in the field are young, they are very experienced and know how to respond to any threat. We execute our mission with great passion and vigilance. We are ready to defend the citizens of Israel at any time and in any place”.