Photo by: Vered Talala
Photo by: Vered Talala
The first reservists-operated “Patriot” battery has gone operational as its soldiers were stationed in southern Israel. “We are ready to provide the best defense whenever needed”
The first “Patriot” missile battery operated by reservists has recently gone operational. A year after the battery was established, it is now positioned in southern Israel, ready to respond if needed. Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovitch, the commander of IAF’s Air Defense Division, visited the battery earlier this week and talked with the commanders and soldiers. “We have here a selection of professional commanders and soldiers of the ‘Patriot’ brigade who now operate”, he said. The main objective of the battery is to reinforce the permanent forces in times of emergency and providing maximum protection for additional regions in Israel during war and in routine.
“We have been intensively preparing for this moment for a long time”, said Major (Res.) Adir Loyts, the commander of the battery who halted his real estate business for several weeks in order to command the activity in the South. “We are in charge of operating an important strategic asset for the state of Israel. We are proud to be the force responsible for protecting and operating this asset”.
“Always ready for the call”
the reserve soldiers who operate the battery are called from all the corners of Israel and left their different occupations to take part in the activity. They take off their everyday cloths, wear the washed-out uniform and join the defending forces of Israel. As students, engineers or programmers, it is not always easy to stop everything and become combat soldier once again.
Captain (Res.) Itay Rosenberg, battery’s deputy commander, arrived at the battery straight after his wedding to take the first operational shift. “I got married in Thursday, on Saturday I drove to the battery and in the next morning the shift started”, he describes the chain of events. “I will always be ready for the call. I’m here because I believe in the importance of the mission. After my work here I’m going straight for my honeymoon”, he jokes.
SSgt (Res.) Lilach Cohen, a combat soldier in the brigade and a high school teacher, has also left everything behind to join the battery. “The school year has begun and in spite of the coming exams, I’m here”, she says.