Keeping air bases operational when rockets hit

The super-dramatic proliferation of rockets in the Middle East makes the continued operation of air bases a top priority that has to be addressed now, today, this minute.


Israeli air force (IAF) bases are main targets for rockets and missiles in any future war with countries such as Syria or militant groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.


Recently, the IAF decided to establish a special battalion at all bases that will be responsible for ensuring operational continuity.

In recent years, the IAF has dramatically increased the number of exercises it performs in order to prepare the bases for rocket and missile attacks.


At the Ramat David air force base in northern Israel for example, squadrons have conducted more than 100 drills since the beginning of last year, almost twice the number than in 2010.


Recently, IAF commander Maj Gen Ido Nehushtan decided to establish a battalion that will be responsible for protecting each base, including making sure that runways damaged in bombings are repaired quickly.


The plan is to deploy Iron Dome batteries near the bases, but at this stage budget limits do not allow the manufacture of the numbers needed.


With special training, equipment and techniques, the IAF hopes to keep the runways at its bases flat and serviceable.


With the number of rockets and missiles across the borders this is a very tough mission, but one that has to succeed.


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