After the barrage of mortars and rockets fired into Israel in recent days, the defense authorities decided to deploy the “Iron Dome” system, currently undergoing operational testing, for the first time. It was deployed in the Beer Sheva area
With word of its deployment, soldiers working with the “Iron Dome” system began setting up control and launch sites at dawn.
“Its a special feeling”, says Captain Itamar Abbu, the battery’s commander. “We are finally feeling a sense of mission. We came from many places throughout the country in order to get here this morning, after a night without a minute of sleep because you can’t sleep through a night like this. The feeling is good. We trained a lot for this moment and we are ready”.
“This is definitely sooner than what we expected”, says Lieutenant Colonel Shabbi Ben-Bachur, the Iron Dome Unit commander, “but considering the circumstances of the last days, it was decided to have the first deployment now.
“We are at an operational testing stage and therefore we will operate in a more controlled and slower manner in order to ensure that the first interception will happen successfully. We have waited for this for a long time-both within the unit and for many people outside the unit. The batteries have been training for more than a year in order to achieve readiness both from an operational and professional standpoint. The unit and all of the soldiers and people within it are skilled in operating the system. The system itself is also ready and has proven itself in trials against a wide variety of threats. We are ready”.
In an interview with the Air Force Magazine, Doron Gavish, commander of the air defense system said:
“The air force has established an administration dedicated to the issue and in the system, an operational unit has been established that began training on the system long before its development was completed. The basic concept guiding the IDF against high trajectory shooting is a combination of defense, launch attack capabilities, and warning capabilities”.