The Rochev Hashamayim Unit’s New Independence

Eliyah Tal, “Bamahane”

As of last week, the UAV unit Rochev Hashamayim gained its independence, its goal of strengthening IDF (Zahal) intelligence gathering well on the way

Date: 18/10/2010, 9:31 PM     Author: Daniella Bokor

It’s official: on October 10th, the new unit Rochev Hashamayim was declared completely independent. At a ceremony held for the occasion attended, among others, by GOC Army Headquarters Commander, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, and Palmachim IAF base Commander, Brig. Gen. Itay Reiss, the unit’s new symbol was revealed: a winged horse with a sword in the background.

Thus far, the Rochev Hashamayim Battalion was subordinate to the Artillery Corps’ UAV unit but will now be an independent battalion in every respect. In the coming year, the unit is expected to be transferred from the Palmachim airbase to its permanent location at base Julis.

“Rochev Hashamayim’s function is to equip the regiment commander and other commanders with video recordings”, explained Lt. Eliyah Keffah, Deputy Commander of the Operational Company in the Rochev Hashamayim unit. “The teams are trained for various missions, with the goal of encouraging the enlistment of many more soldiers.”

Soldiers learn to operate the Elbit company’s UAVs and are thus able to provide an updated snapshot of the battlefield at any moment. The tiny plains fly above the soldiers’ heads, their cameras broadcasting images to those deciphering footage on land.

A special on-land team programs the flying object, setting its route before its takeoff, if necessary also being able to end its flight midair. The hope is in the future, a representative team from Rochev Hashamayim will join each infantry battalion, its purpose to improve the IDF (Zahal)’s intelligence gathering abilities.