Brig. Gen. Michael Gschossmann, Commander of Ground Based Forces, German Air Force, visited Israel in order to strengthen the cooperation between the forces. During his visit, General Gschossmann toured the Aerial Defense Division’s various batteries and the Aerial Defense Academy

Hadas Levav

Brig. Gen. Michael Gschossmann, Commander of the German Air Force’s Ground Based Forces, visited Israel this week in order to strengthen the relations and deepen the cooperation between the forces. The General toured “Iron Dome” and “Patriot” batteries and visited the Aerial Defense Academy. His visit was joined by Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, Commander of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Division and Lt. Col. Tal Caduri, Head of the Aerial Defense Cooperation Department.

Protecting the Home Front

Photography: Hadas Levav

Threats and Responsibility
“The defense mission is a daily mission”, described Brig. Gen. Haimovich. “The soldiers in the division are doing a great job”. General Gschossmann was surprised to learn that the people responsible for this crucial mission are young soldiers in mandatory service and asked how the young combatants’ deal with the distance from home and the heavy responsibility sitting on their shoulders. Maj. Kfir Ivry, Commander of an “Iron Dome” Battery, explained that understanding the significance of the mission is motivational and helps overcome difficulties.

Protecting the Home Front

Photography: Hadas Levav

General Gschossmann also learned about life in Israel and about the routine emergency exercise held in schools throughout Israel. “We deal with changing threats”, said Capt. Lior Shilo, “Patriot” Battery Commander. “We man the battery 24/7, we have the ability to search for targets in every direction and we provide integrative protection along with ‘Iron Dome’. The routine is a challenge for us, the combatants transition from a quiet routine to interception mode in very short time spans”.

The General also visited the “Preparation Wing” and received an explanation about the continuous activity from Lt. Col. Ofer Levi, Commander of the Maintenance Squadron. The wing, which provides the batteries with nationwide technical response, was inaugurated as part of the organizational change the Aerial Defense Division is undergoing. “We all know the boundaries of the ‘Patriot’”, said Brig. Gen. Haimovich to General Gschossmann, as the German Air Force operates this system as well. “The wing’s soldiers think about the boundaries, the needs, the system’s problems and creatively find outside-the-box solutions”. 

Protecting the Home Front

Photography: Hadas Levav