«At the moment, the approach changed. When we fire rockets we do not give back up and attack and respond with fire. In Gaza, know that we are here, they are perfectly familiar with our abilities. Gas is a very vulnerable place for fire Israel and we have here a list of goals like that of how the Air Force has. Tanks were armed and ready for battle as well as we do. » Tankers four hundred and first team know perfectly well that the tranquility of the border with the Gaza Strip since the continued operation «Flame Pillar» may undermine in any minute. So one day looks of their daily life.
It has been seven months since the end of the operation Cloudy pillar. Only seven months, but it seems that the border with the Gaza Strip has become one of the dimensions in Israel, even though everyone knows that the invisible lava boiling under the surface. In the past month fighters 401st Brigade has taken over patrolling the border with Gaza after graduated scale brigade exercises. They got into the deceptive reality, measured on the one hand and on the other raging. Apparent us quiet border is not quite like that, and the majority of cases, do not even meaningful, never granted media attention. Exclusively in January was found near the tunnel security fence in March from Gaza violated contrived calm, firing towards Ashkelon, also fired the commander of the northern neighborhood mc Colonel Ofer Vinter. In April, it was powered by an improvised explosive device on the border near the D-9 bulldozer, in May was committed another violation of the border, and this is an incomplete list does not contain any bad samples launches, attacks from small tools and demonstrations at the border.
With all of these incidents have to deal fighters four hundred and first brigade, armored brigade armed Merkava 4 tanks. Specifically, their hopes in the case of the IDF when conflict breaks out with the latest in force. As we said tank officer: «The Army understands that this is a terrible boundary, regardless of the situation on the Golan Heights, and so arranged here the most advanced and secure tanks available to us.»
«When we fire rockets we do not give back up and attack and respond with fire.» The crew in action.
This week (June 18 of 2013), I went to meet with Gaza so that the crew of the tank brigade to see their eyes on Gaza and hear their memories of specific situations with the place — the situation for many in Israel seeming true utopia. I happened to meet a fascinating and close-knit team, the platoon commander who lives in a settlement in the West Bank of the Jordan River, proud of a farmer from the village agricultural Nahalal, a new immigrant from Brazil and has the 1st fighter living near Netanya. They’re proud of their service and all understand the meaning of life on the border with the Gaza Strip.
«We ran over from defense to offense»
401 Brigade has davneshnie tradition roots which lead to the Six Day War. Since that time, she took part in all wars and conflicts. This team and ninth regiment to which is assigned to the crew of the tank which I joined, went down in history will take place in combat criteria first interception ATGM released on the tank. «We are the first company, were armed windbreaker (KAZ Trophy) and a company first rocket interception,» said Lieutenant Ariel Hoffman (?????????) From the village Karmey Tzur. «You realize the ability of the tank and its strength. We need to realize that thanks to all tank systems including windbreaker he has the ability to put the fire very rapidly. In this tank with active protection system with classified systems approach changed from defense and we ran over to the attack. When we fire rockets we do not give back up and attack and respond with fire. In Gaza, know that we are here in the end and they have intelligence and observers and they understand that we are here. They are more or less familiar with our abilities. «
Lieutenant Hoffman crew I met after they returned from the long ambush where using monitoring tools, they watched the scene in the depths of Gaza. They live in this area and, unlike us feel calm before the storm. «Very quiet, on the other hand you see everything, you also know what happens on the other side of the fence. I can tell you for how we look militants in the sights and we tankers is especially hard. Our tanks are armed and ready to open fire at any moment, but we are aware of the complexity of the situation and maintain calm. Ultimately we protect the inhabitants of the south of the country, and when we all relaxed it is clear that all of them quietly. That is our task. «
Division Command Strip knows that in her hands the most modern tank ready for at least some situations. Equipment directly to the tank armor vest is in an accessible location, the crew is able within minutes to start your own tank appear where it should. They produce the discovery of ways to follow, many ambushes, and the most severe challenge is to maintain combat readiness. That is something to Lieutenant Hoffman is working tirelessly. «This constant tension in the end may explode. This is the main challenge. «
«This constant tension in the end may explode.» Look inside.
Work in Gaza integrated with other forces (integrated battle group), which includes not counting tank battalions engineering, infantry, artillery units, drones and other means of banned publications. «We know how to keep the interaction with all here. This works fine, and we are working on it constantly. Before each ambush we conduct joint exercises involving other vehicles of our forces. «
«Two weeks back the D-9 bulldozer ran over an IED and he flew off the bucket,» says Lieutenant Hoffman. «We had a week mortar attacks and other events that are not reported and it is what makes the tank here ready for anything. Gas is a very vulnerable place for fire Israel and we have here a list of goals like that of how the Air Force has. And in the end we, having armored firepower, it can be used simultaneously. But it is important to note that the return fire tank can affect the status quo in the Gaza Strip. «
«This gun scare their abilities. When that occurs at the boundary or cause us to restore order «
They are the generation of high-tech in the modern technology and that is what is on the mind immediately when you climb into the tank. Everything is computerized and controlled by pressing a button. No longer necessary to charge the muscular and the driver does not have to strain your neck to stick head or natuzhit eyes to perfectly create. Corporal Mike Balisiano (????????????) Was called into the army 18 months after the reversal came from Brazil. It indicates to me the driver’s seat and the tank again catch the eye shields. «Drive such a tank just a thrill, especially because I do not have a driving license for a car,» he says, grinning. «We perform here a huge number of ambushes and occupy different firing positions. Work is not easy, but fascinating. In fact as the driver most of the time I sleep because everyone needs a chauffeur jauntily. So I’m not complaining. «
Tank one hundred percent automatic and very easy to use. «In addition, we have a computer, which displays all the information from the electronic defects to the remaining amount of fuel. Speed selector as in a car and it is very comfortable. There are also thermal imaging cameras, so for me that day, that night — without distinction. «
Sergeant Dothan Lavi (???????) Charging the tank, always emphasizes that at first he was proud that he was a farmer from the village of Nahalal. He joined the crew after almost 2 years served in the unit Magellan. «My job comes charging cannon shells and machine gun control. I run through a computer communication system and all at the touch of a button. In ambushes I scan the area using a special device on which I can not tell, and I see everything. » If in the past the loader had to use physical force is not small when charging shells and watching to see what kind of shell it charges, the Merkava 4 everything is computerized. «I choose the type of projectile by pressing the button on the computer and after I click OK the system itself gives me a shell that I have chosen, revealed cell and from there I shall be sent to the projectile in the barrel.»
«After 20 days I’m going to preddemobilizatsionny holiday and I can say that I had a very exciting service — says Lavie. This transition from Maglaj in tank forces was given a very hard, I had a long time to achieve this and I am glad for every minute. Be a fighter here even more fun, there is not a common border, but leaves the distinct feeling that we protect our people. «
Gunner Sergeant Saar Paparu (?????) Long had to seek permission to return to the company after it acquired injuries, and specifically in the tank, he presses the «trigger» Cannon. «It is very crucial for my post, so I’m perfectly familiar with the area. I do this work out of the tank in every ambush, also on a physical level visit operative part as observer for the purpose can be better acquainted with the area and possible targets. There is always something to learn and I can say that I know by heart the whole area. «
Pepper adds that it is hard to be in a closed tank is not so few hours, but they are very close-knit crew. «There is also its beauty. Here, for example, yesterday we brought in a tank watermelon ice. But seriously, I can say before performing one of the tasks assigned to us, we are protected from head to toe were inspected terrain, and in a few meters behind us ordinary peasant on his own tractor plowing his land. I can say for you, that somehow paratroopers are here with us came up to me and said, «You and essentially fighters and doing their job.» In fact the tank is a technique with awesome abilities. When something happens on the border, cause us to restore order. «
Created by Shay Levy