Photo: Iron Dome battery intercepting a rocket

GOC Ground Forces addresses new developments at international conference, including use of new system that enables field soldiers to prevent missile threats

Date: 24/05/2012, 3:00 PM     Author: Iddan Sonsino

GOC Ground Forces Maj. Gen. Shlomo (Sami) Turgeman spoke at the Conference on Air and Land Jointness in a Complex Environment yesterday (Wednesday, May 23), presenting the IDF (Zahal) Ground Force’s plans for improving its firepower. Among other topics, he discussed a future project to supply soldiers in the field with equipment capable of intercepting rockets, similar to the successful anti-rocket defense system, the Iron Dome.

“Our vision is to utilize soldiers in order to combat the threat of high-trajectory missiles,” Maj. Gen. Turgeman explained. “We can use our maneuvering power at the front for advanced interception of rockets, as a sort of small Iron Dome.” He elaborated that the new system, which soldiers can carry with them, will enable rocket interception on enemy territory and will provide a quick method of accurately locating launch sites. “In addition to preventing injuries among civilians and soldiers, the new system will provide information telling us in real time what the enemy is firing and from where. This way of locating rockets will let us close the fire circle in seconds.”

Additionally, Maj. Gen. Turgeman discussed a new organizational method establishing a firepower headquarters.”In order to accommodate our growing fire capabilities to the crowded, urban battle environment, we must take the same weapons that so far have been concentrated at the division level and move them to a firepower headquarters in each brigade. The brigade firepower headquarters will know how to utilize the advanced capabilities that we have built over the course of decades, while harnessing comprehensive intelligence that will reach the fire headquarters. This will be a very effective body – a shrunken and efficient command.”

GOC Ground Forces also discussed the threat of anti-tank missiles posed by terrorist, which he said is “the challenge that most influences our maneuvering tactics.” In coping with this threat, he said, “the forward battle crews, which so far have been relatively visible on the battlefield, will receive new capabilities. We will greatly expand the intelligence power of the combat soldiers. In real time, they will receive information from all levels – visual intelligence, field intelligence, intelligence from wiretaps, and information assembled everyday will all reach the soldiers in the field.”