Lionesses of the North: The girls that keep Israel’s skies safe

A prominently female Air Defense battery that incorporates females in combat and commanding positions holds a training exercise

Date: 24/11/2011, 6:59 PM     Author: Yael Livnat

Female and male combat soldiers of the Air Defense “Lions of the North” battery held a training exercise in both southern and northern Israel. As part of the exercise the soldiers attended professional lectures and simulations of both ground and aerial incidents, including launching rockets, dealing with suspicious aircraft and even NBC warfare.

Extremely prominent throughout the drill and at the battery in general are the female soldiers, composing a meaningful and valuable force as both commanders and operators. As a result of the girls’ influence and contribution, the battery took on the nickname, “Lionesses of the North. ”

Lt. Ella Lessari, deputy commander of the battery, is only one of the females serving in high-ranking positions in the battery.  “People always wondered what commanding over male soldiers would be like for me,” she said. “Though I don’t notice a difference. The soldiers know that I can be extremely tough when necessary and also offer a sensitivity boys lack. Being a female combat soldier can sometimes mean being the only girl, though the atmosphere here is definitely unique and the positions is extremely rewarding.”

There are two female combat soldiers in the battalion, one of which, Cpl. Shai Trom who will soon start commanders’ course. Cpl. Trom always knew she wanted to serve as a combat soldier, “I am very satisfied at the battery, I feel that there is no difference between us and the boys.”