Oren Tamsut, 21, from Kiryat Shmona, is about to become a lieutenant on an
Israel Navy missile ship and play a crucial role in Israel’s maritime military
capabilities. He has just completed a grueling naval officer course over the
course of two years and four months, and is set to take his place as a senior
officer on the navy’s Tarsis
“I was first exposed to
sailing when I attended a naval high school academy,” Tamsut told The Jerusalem
on Tuesday. “I dreamt of joining the navy’s officer
At first, it looked as if Tamsut’s dream would not come true
after the IDF assigned him to the elite General Staff Reconnaissance Unit
But Tamsut quickly requested a transfer, and the IDF
acquiesced. He joined a tough week-long trial period before the
“We were under pressure. There was no time for anything. We had
to pass tests and learn new material we had never dealt with before,” Tamsut
The would-be cadets faced the full grilling. Those who passed,
like Tamsut, began a four-stage training plan.
“Each phase got
progressively more challenging,” Tamsut said. “In the first stage, we studied
basic seamanship, how to control sailboats and small engine-powered craft.
Physically, this was the most intense phase,” he added.
At sea, the
cadets spent long periods in swimming courses, while on land, they ran long
distances carrying heavy weights. Sleep was scarce.
“We could only call
home once a week, from a payphone. Support from home was important,” Tamsut
said. His parents made the 470-kilometer journey from Kiryat Shmona in the
far-north to Eilat to visit him.
In the second stage, Tamsut was shown
how to carry out maneuvers in more advanced vessels, before moving onto the
third stage, which involved operating the Dvora – a fast patrol boat used by the
navy for continuous security missions.
The patrol boats guard against
terrorist infiltrations and weapons smuggling.
In the final stage, Tamsut
completed a BA at Haifa University over eight months. He studied business
management, psychology and politics.
“Officers should have a wide horizon
in order to be good commanders,” Tamsut said.
Now, he has taken up an
operational role on a navy missile ship, the Tarsis
, a large warship filled with
advanced electronic warfare means. It is one of 10 missile ships in its
“The missile ships increase Israel’s reach,” Tamsut said. He will
serve on the ship as a professional soldier for the next four-and-a-half
Also on Tuesday, Israel Navy chief Adm. Ram Rothberg explained
that “the navy has in recent years turned into a strategic corps that guards
strategic assets, and secures freedom of sea travel, a safe coast and an open
He added, “I’d like to tell all navy sailors in the missile ships,
submarines, Dvora ships and the naval commando that we will continue
to...defend the country. This is the home we protect.”
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