49. Or Na’aman

The IDF captain who downed a Syrian jet

Cpt. Or Na'aman, commander of the Patriot battery of the 138th battalion. (photo credit: IDF)
Cpt. Or Na'aman, commander of the Patriot battery of the 138th battalion.
(photo credit: IDF)
Within one month, IDF Capt. Or Na’aman shot down a Syrian drone and a Syrian fighter jet over Israel’s northern Golan Heights.
In early July, Na’aman commanded the Patriot missile battery that intercepted a Syrian drone some 10 kilometers inside northern Israel before knocking it out of the skies south of the Kinneret. Two weeks later, Na’aman was responsible for intercepting a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet after it penetrated two kilometers into Israeli airspace.
In early August, Israel Air Force commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin presented a certificate of appreciation to Na’aman for her work commanding the IAF’s 138th Battalion Patriot Battery that intercepted both Syrian aircraft.
“You both learned and taught your soldiers how to perform under pressure and led them to a high level of operational readiness. You not only were successful in the mission, but gained the trust and confidence of your commanders and subordinates,” Norkin said at the ceremony.
“We must ensure the quiet in the North. Be sharp, be professional, and continue to be a source of pride for the air force. Keep our skies clean,” Norkin added.
Brig.-Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Division, said at the ceremony that Na’aman’s battalion, under the command of Lt.-Col. G., had successfully intercepted five enemy drones and the Russian-made Sukhoi-22 fighter jet.
“Protecting the skies of the state has undergone a real turnaround in recent years, as our enemies develop and acquire unmanned aircraft which are faster, smaller and in larger quantities,” he said.
Na’aman also received a visit from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman while he was in northern Israel with Haimovich visiting IAF air defenses near the city of Safed.
“We are prepared, ready, and the moment of truth will prove our ability and not give up our security interests,” Liberman said during the visit.
A record number of women were drafted into combat units in the IDF this summer amid continuing controversy over treatment of female soldiers by religious soldiers.
According to military figures, a total of 1,050 women joined combat units over the past year, more than twice the 500 from only three years ago.
The record number of female soldiers drafted into to combat units this summer comes as the IDF continues to open roles for women and as women are increasingly motivated to join such units.
In 1949, Israel’s army became the first in the world to introduce mandatory military service for both men and women. However, the record number of women serving in combat roles continues to be a point of contention within the religious community.