As the atmosphere down in southern Israel intensifies, the soldiers of the Iron Dome continue the battle of protecting the cities that are under constant attack. The ongoing pressure and rush adrenalin can be felt from miles away, but the soldiers keep their focus at all times, determined to do anything in order to complete their job in the best way possible. This past weekend they have managed to intercept over 50 rockets.
“It’s an amazing feeling, it feels like I’m saving lives”, says Sergeant Adir Levi enthusiastically, who is responsible for two successful interceptions from the Ashdod battery. “Once I saw my success with the interception I was thrilled. While were under attack, we were under so much pressure at the control room. We have to show character and have the right attitude in order to operate. No one can do the job for us”. Levi and other soldiers from the battery are all hoping that the intensification will soon end, but they are ready to keep on fighting back as long as needed.
“This is the most challenging escalation we have experienced yet”
Beyond the actual launchings, the Iron Dome deals with the need of strengthening the system on a daily basis, to keep it intact and to eliminate future losses. “I been through many sleepless nights since more of the work gets done when the sun goes down, we get called in many times”, says Corporal Roman Pindrik, a radar technical engineer who also operated at the Ashdod battery.
Corporal Pindrik can relate personally to the whole situation: his twin brother, Corporal Dima Pindrik, also operates as a technical engineer, but at the Ashkelon Iron Dome battery. Their family lives in Ashkelon, and in the past they lived in Sderot. “My brother and I are always involved with the maintenance of the radar”, adds Corporal Pindrik. “We are both very proud to be a part of the formation and have the great honor of protecting our country”.
The technical engineers have a very important place in the battery, causing them to work around the clock. “I operated as a system officer at the launching control room this past Saturday. Once Friday came around we knew that it wasn’t going to be a normal Friday”, says First Sergeant Danny Coppershmit , Head of the technical engineers of the battery. “This is the most challenging escalation we have experienced yet with very long shifts and a lot of intense work. I had to put aside the pressure and focus on the most important thing – my job of protecting the Israeli citizens”.