IDF Navy observers watch over Israel’s waters

Behind computer screens, the all-female unit defends Israel’s maritime borders

Date: 29/08/2011, 8:24 PM     Author: Navy Website

Marine control observers are crucial in ensuring the security of Israel. Some stationed near the Gaza Strip, the all-female unit watches over Israel’s waters day and night behind computer screens at the Navy’s secured control posts.

“Their observers are in direct contact with the ships,” said Cpt. Or Dvir, Commander of the Ashdod Regional Control Post. “They know everything: who is at sea, who is coming home, where they are going and why. And if a mark on the radar isn’t recognized, the observers send ships to identify it.”

“Despite the long hours, the girls are dedicated to their jobs and understand the responsibility they have. They understand they’re defending human life,” Cpt. Dvir explained.

“Marine observers must be responsible, have high endurance and most importantly have self-control,” said Pvt. Dana Badlov, an observer at the post.

The observers are required to determine whether ships are mere fishing vessels or rather threats to Israel’s security. Simultaneously, they contact vessels entering and leaving the Ashdod port, listen to civilian frequencies to identify crises and guard Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.

These girls thwart attacks before they even take place, by sending ships and providing them with information about the vessels at sea.

“People outside don’t actually know what happens here and we’re not really allowed to elaborate. There aren’t any fences at sea, it’s only us,” explained Cpl. Shir Anisimov.

The information collected by the observers is analyzed by senior observers and later by high ranking officers.

Marine observers go through a three-month course at a Navy training base and are stationed at one of the posts along Israel’s shores. There, they learn how to use the necessary devices.