The IDF Home Front Command plans to finalize the establishment of two new
search-and-rescue battalions by the end of next year to be able to provide a
rapid response capability in the event of a future war.
Tessler, deputy commander of the Home Front Command, told The Jerusalem Post on
Monday that the establishment of the new battalions would dramatically improve
the IDF’s ability to assist the civilian population.
He also revealed
that the soldiers in the search-and-rescue battalions would soon undergo
training to become certified firefighters.
“This will allow us to give a
balanced and effective response to the challenges ahead,” Tessler
The Home Front Command currently has two search-and-rescue
The interview with Tessler took place at the Tel Hashomer
Induction Center near Tel Aviv where the Home Front Command was receiving a new
batch of recruits as part of the IDF’s annual “March Draft.” Officers said that
this year’s draft into the Home Front Command was the largest ever and was
marked by an unprecedented increase in motivation to serve in its units with more than one soldier competing for each
The draft was held just days after a shaky cease-fire
went into effect in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Islamic Jihad. During last
week’s violence, over 300 rockets were fired into Israel.
that the home front is prepared but we cannot rest and there is always room to
improve,” Tessler said. “Once we have these new battalions, our
capabilities will be better.”
The new battalions will not be divided
throughout the country’s various regions but will be mobile, with the ability to
deploy as needed and based on operational requirements.
In another step
aimed at improving its response to missile attacks, Tessler said that the Home
Front Command was looking to procure unmanned aerial vehicles to use for damage
assessment following missile attacks against Israel.
Tests were recently
conducted on two UAVs – Elbit Systems’ Skylark I LE and BlueBird Aero System’s
MicroB. Both are lightweight man-launched UAVs that provide “under the clouds”
“This would give us as an independent capability without
needing to rely on anyone to provide us with UAVs when they will be needed,”
The Home Front Command currently tracks missile attacks
with the use of radars operated by the Israel Air Force. The two branches
recently established a joint command center where they track missile launches
into Israel and activate air sirens for population centers projected to be the
targets of incoming rockets.