The smoke clears, the fire dies and the evacuation begins–that is just a little taste of a day in the life of the battalion in charge of ensuring that combat squadrons keep flying even under attack of the Hatzor Airbase. “We have to be prepared for possible scenarios in the future”, stated Commander of the Brigade
A simulated missile attack on a base, attacking unconventional ammunition, fires bursting into flames–these are all possible scenarios that were practiced at Hatzor Airbase during the past few days, as part of the functional continuity training plan. The reserve duty battalion’s goal is to make sure that the base’s combat squadrons can keep on taking off for operational missions at any given time. “We take this exercise very seriously. We have to be prepared for any possible scenario”, says Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Michael Rabinowitz, commander of the battalion. “Although this is all new to us since we had never exercised this specifically, we can see significant changes in the functioning of the battalion”.
During the exercise, it seemed as though the scenarios were endless and that the battalions wouldn’t rest until they were through with them all. Only seconds separated one disaster from the other. “The IAF aims to prepare to function continuously even when the base is under attack”, says Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Michael. “Suppose that a missile falls on our lane, we have to get back to action as fast as possible–clearing and fixing the lane and evacuating the injured.”
Not Only Through a Missile Attack
Come crunch time, the battalion will be responsible for the smooth functioning under various extreme scenarios, beginning with chemical weapon attack to tragedies of multiple casualties. Members of the battalions will work quickly together alongside rescue forces in order to save as many lives as possible. “The battalion’s purpose”, summarizes Lieutenant Colonel Michael, “Is to be ready for any possible scenarios”.