During the recent escalation in Israel’s south, the Iron Dome System showed an outstanding performance with a very high success rate. But these astounding results would not have been possible without the relentless efforts of the crews who man the Iron Dome Batteries. The actions of two exceptionally motivated soldiers stood out above the rest.
"Iron Dome" will defend Israel's southern communities from rocket fire
Early last week, Sergeant First Class Eli Zada was sent to fix a malfunction on one of the Iron Dome batteries deployed to protect Israel’s south. While he was fixing the faulty battery, a siren went off, alerting the soldiers of an incoming Grad rocket heading towards Ashdod. Air Force safety regulations stipulate that Iron Dome crew members are to remain at a safe distance when the system gets ready to fire an intercepting missile. But Sergeant First Class Zada knew that the Iron Dome battery wouldn’t be able to launch its interceptor if he didn’t fix the malfunction, so instead of running for shelter, he remained in place to repair the faulty system.
Zada realized that he would not have enough time to get to safety before the launch of the intercepting rocket, but one of his comrades, Eliran Siso, saw him, quickly got into an army jeep and raced over to pick up Zada, who just barely managed to jump into the jeep at the last moment. Seconds later, the Iron Dome battery launched its rocket and successfully intercepted the Grad missile heading towards Ashdod. When Zada and Siso returned to retrieve Zada’s equipment which he had left behind in a hurry, they found that the extreme heat emitted by the launching rocket had melted all of his equipment.
Iron Dome Missile Defense System launching a rocket to intercept missiles aimed at Israel's cities
Senior Air Force officials praised both Zada and Siso for their actions in defending the residents of Ashdod and their comrades on the Iron dome battery.
“It could have ended very differently without the resourcefulness of the technician who insisted on staying on the battery at great risk to his own life,” Air Force officials stated. “The incident proves how very different our situation could be without the success of the Iron Dome system and more than that, without the work of the operating troops, technicians and combatants still posted in the southern cities around the clock.”
When asked for a comment Zada and Siso simply replied:
“We were just doing our jobs and we are happy that the intercepting missile managed to thwart the Grad rocket fire.”