New 3D simulator used to practice missile attack

Home Front Command is testing simulator which enables local authorities to drill their responses to rocket, missile attacks.

Dichter attends Home Front Command drill 370 (photo credit:  IDF Spokesman Unit)
Dichter attends Home Front Command drill 370
(photo credit: IDF Spokesman Unit)
The truce with Hamas is holding for now, but the Home Front Command and officials from the Netivot municipality recently upgraded their preparations for the possibility of future rocket attacks.
The Home Front Command is in the midst of testing a new three dimensional simulator, which enables local authorities to drill their responses to rocket and missile attacks, a senior official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
Col. Doron Mor-Yosef, head of the command’s southern district, said the first use of the simulator was in Netivot on Thursday – home to some 30,000 people – which has experienced many Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza in the past.
The simulator, developed for the Home Front Command by Elbit, allows local authority representatives, Home Front Command officials, and government responders to view a rocket strike on a computer-generated image of the town, which is accurate down to the last street.
The drill was attended by former Home Front defense minister Avi Dichter and Netivot Mayor Yehiel Zohar.
Before the drill, the heads of all public service departments in Netivot spent a day and a half preparing themselves for a rocket threat scenario.
They then gathered inside the simulator to view an “attack” on a central location in their town. The simulator showed images of damages and casualties.
Individuals acting as emergency services on the ground sent in reports as well, updating the officials on developments such as fires. Government representatives acted as liaisons to local officials, coordinating national responses, Mor-Yosef added.
“The simulator is based on images of the entire town, from one end to the other. It is like the topography simulator used by pilots,” Mor-Yosef said. “We recorded the simulation, and played it back to the officials... They were able to study their own responses.”
“We want every local authority to be able to provide solutions, in both emergencies and routine times,” Mor-Yosef added.
Netivot Mayor Yehiel Zohar described the drill as a success, adding that it contributed to his town’s preparations.
Rishon Lezion, where over 230,000 residents live, will be the next pilot for the simulator, at the end of 2013.
“This pilot is being held in the southern district because of the incidents in our area.
Netivot is a very strong local authority in terms of its emergency responses. The ability to generate a quality pilot is very important,” Mor- Yosef said.
Next year, the Home Front Command will seek to expand the program to all relevant local authorities