In the coming year, the Aerial Defense Network will establish a new instruction center at the Air Defense School, solely focused on training soldiers on the various aerial defense weapons systems used by the IDF. These systems will include simulators of the Stinger, Hawk, Patriot, and Iron Dome systems.
“Until now, soldiers were trained on operational batteries in the field,” says Lieutenant Colonel Gershon Zlotnik, Head of the Aerial Defense Network’s Training and Doctrine Division. “The decision to establish a dedicated in-house training center was part of the process to strengthen the Aerial Defense as a whole.”
Soldiers learning in the Aerial Defense School are already training on a real, fully functional Iron Dome Battery. During the recent round of escalation, the battery was declared operational and deployed in the south of the country to assist in the defense of Israel’s southern communities which were targeted by more than 200 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. In the latest crossfire exchange, the Iron Dome had a success rate of about 80%–unprecedented even by the standards of its planning engineers.