After recognition, soldiers have mere seconds to estimate the missile’s destination
Tracking Missile Launches. Illustrative Photo After the various intensification rounds in southern Israel, the Aerial Defense Formation points out all lessons learned and improves its operational tactics. Amongst the changes: The Aerial Defense Academy will start preparing soldiers who will be responsible for uncovering missile and rocket launchings towards Israel
Shir Aharon Bram
A small unit of the IAF is in charge of one of the Force’s most important missions: the exposure of missile and rocket launchings toward Israeli borders. They follow launchings 24/7, and work from the center of managing ballistic pictures–the system has been activated for more than a year within the Aerial Defense Formation.
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Up until now, the center of managing ballistic pictures has been training its soldiers independently, using minimal courses which were led by people who operate within the center. Soon, the Aerial Defense Academy will begin with a new course which could help preparing soldiers for their jobs: “A Noncommissioned Officer of Precaution”.
“The Aerial Defense Academy will train the soldiers of the center in every aspect, in accordance with operational ideology which was developed from understandings from the recent intensification”, explains Lieutenant Colonel Gershon Zlotnik, head of the Doctrine and instructional division of the Aerial Defense Headquarters. “The entire training session will be conducted within the academy, and sometimes the soldiers will arrive at the center itself for a session”.
The shift in training is intended to ease the burden on the center. “The Aerial Defense Academy training has been approved and accepted as a legitimate part of the new course, and will allow the center to deal with operational missions”, explains Major Ofir Walfish, commander of the center. “When the training became a part of our responsibility, some of our resources were allocated to the training. From now on we can focus on ‘exposure as a precaution’”.
One of the center’s responsibilities is to monitor the launching of rockets and missiles toward Israel. After sighting a threat, soldiers have mere seconds to evaluate the routine of launch and decide on the approximate target, based on information and details which arrive from various systems. The center is responsible for ruling the launching’s relevance and level of danger.
If the launching has potential to injure the population, the center has to stream information to the Home Front Command, which turns on the “Color Red” Alarm, around endangered areas.