IDF names first woman in charge of air defense combat battalion

IDF Lt.-Col. Revital Barazani was sworn in as OC Ram 66 Battalion, the Israeli military's first mobile anti-aircraft battalion.

 Iron dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in Ashkelon on August 7, 2022.  (photo credit: YONATHAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Iron dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in Ashkelon on August 7, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATHAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

IDF Lt.-Col. Revital Barazani on Tuesday became the first woman to command an Air Defense Command combat battalion. 

In the change of command ceremony, Barazani was sworn in as OC Ram 66 Battalion, the Israeli military's first mobile anti-aircraft battalion.

Barazani, a married mother of three, joined the IDF in 2004 as a combat fighter in charge of the Air Defense Command's MIM-23 Hawk systems.

She served as an Iron Dome battery commander during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012 and during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. She was formerly the deputy commander of Ram 66 and most recently served as a squadron commander in the Air Defense Command.

 Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and US President Joe Biden attend a briefing on the Israel's Iron Dome and Iron Beam Air Defense Systems at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel, July 13, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN) Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and US President Joe Biden attend a briefing on the Israel's Iron Dome and Iron Beam Air Defense Systems at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel, July 13, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

She replaces outgoing commander Lt.-Col. Yoav Biger.

The combat battalion boasts an impressive record of 11 interceptions of enemy aircraft and helicopters, the most of all IDF surface-to-air battalions.

"Using the knowledge and experience I have acquired over the years, I find myself entering a new role with professional and operational influence and a sense of responsibility."

IDF Lt.-Col. Revital Barazani

Barazani keen to ensure Israel's aerial protection

"It is a huge privilege to command over Ram 66, a battalion with a rich history and an important role in ensuring Israel's aerial protection," Barazani said. 

"Using the knowledge and experience I have acquired over the years, I find myself entering a new role with professional and operational influence and a sense of responsibility."