The Missile Ship Company

The Commander of the Missile Ship Company: "We Assist with Fire at any Target that can be Hit from the Sea"

The integration between the fighting forces in the Gaza Strip resulted in many achievements. In an interview, Lt. Col. Steven Gordon, commander of the missile ship company, explains the coordination between the various forces and the threats in the various sectors.

Lt. Col. Steven Gordon (Photo: IDF spokesman)

The powerful combination between naval and land power in the fighting in Gaza resulted in many achievements in the fighting. In an interview, Lt. Col. Steven Gordon, the commander of the 32nd Fleet in the missile ship cruise, explains the coordination between the various forces, the precautions taken by the corps against harming the soldiers, about that bitter and hasty morning when terrorists infiltrated Zikim Beach and murdered civilians.

How does the combination between naval power and infantry actually work?

The navy in general and the fleet of missile ships in particular from October 7 are operating in several sectors, one of which is Gaza. I was the first to arrive in the Strip to provide an answer in the first stage for the defense and later for the attack. In the two and a half months of the war, we attacked hundreds of Hamas targets, outposts, weapons depots, lookouts, squads. Everything we could hit from the sea."

According to Lt. Col. Gordon, "one of the tasks that began two weeks after the beginning of the war was to assist the maneuvering divisions. We created a mechanism, which we trained on for a period of time, that one of the times we brought it to fruition in this war of integration together with the same maneuvering factor. It could be at the battalion level that I physically speak with the Major General in the field and also with the Brigadier General, at the same time cooperation of the Air Force with air support and fire coming from the sea.

"It's something we trained and prepared ourselves for and the level of practice is reflected in a very impressive way, close to two months from the first day of the maneuver. It could be that the commander notices a threat, he passes it on to me, I agree, he tells me there are no forces that I endanger.

"I have a helicopter that looks at the target from above and I attack, and the same is the other way around. Beyond assisting with fire, I also assist with observation, an angle that is unique, spread out and large from the direction of the sea, assisting with observation near the coast as well as at depth."

Making sure that no shell will harm our forces

Did the ships fire deep into Gaza as well?

"Specifically in ships, the main means we use is a 77 millimeter cannon and 76 millimeter shells, a precise firing system that the shells reach every point we need. I don't have to see it with the eye but deep on the beach."

According to him, "All the targets I shoot at can be relevant to the entire strip, I can execute from any point in the sea for the same targets even at depth. Even if I can't see the target with my eyes, the Air Force or the maneuvering party knows how to tell me about the hits and whether I have achieved the required achievement and whether corrections need to be made to be more accurate."

There is no fear of harming the soldiers?

"We do our best to avoid operational accidents, unfortunately in a war with the amount of forces and the amount of fire that is used there are accidents. With maneuver assistance from the Navy we make sure of this. Our IT systems in real time also allow us to see in real time where our forces are.

"As I said, we apply safety measures upon safety measures to make sure that no shell hits close to our forces and could endanger them. And so even if I don't see the goal, it's important to me that someone sees to it that I'm making sure that I do reach the required achievement and I'm not endangering our forces."

The shells reach every point we need (Photo: IDF spokesman)

Many infiltrations by sea were thwarted on October 7

Despite the many achievements, the question arises as to where the Navy was on that morning of the Black Sabbath when Israelis were murdered on Zikim Beach. According to Lt. Col. Gordon, "The Navy was at the same point it was at until October 7th, security is ongoing in the Gaza Strip sector and in general there are several vessels whose purpose is to protect the borders even on that October 7th.

"The threat - in response, more was thwarted than landed on the beach. Not 100 percent of what invaded Israel entered Israel's shores, more were thwarted than entered. A large number of vessels came in, there was a navy vessel on the spot, this is part of the activity of the regular security vessels, which is their mission, they intercepted and destroyed a large part of the vessels, some of the terrorists who managed to land on the beach were killed from the sea."

According to him, "Unfortunately, a number of terrorists managed to penetrate. We will have to learn from this incident. All of us as an army were surprised by what happened on October 7. We were very strong on the lines in the face of the information we had and the understanding of the threats and our intelligence. In the face of the missiles that were in the sea and were conducted in routine preparation, there was a thwarting of a large part of it. However, I do not take solace in the errors and the little damage, every person and soul that is harmed is a very big disaster and it is something that we as the army and the navy should have been able to prevent.

"But I say that there was a thwarting, there was a large amount of vessels, and therefore the response given is the best for that point in time. We learned some of the lessons from it and we will continue to learn from it and of course we will draw the conclusions necessary so that such events will not be repeated. During the war we strengthened the lines of defense and there were attempts even in the continuation of the fighting, some of them were published and all of them were foiled while still at sea before they reached the shore."

(Photo: IDF spokesman)

We will know how to respond to a threat from Yemen

An international coalition was recently established to monitor the crossings in the Red Sea following the provocations by the Houthi army. Israel was not chosen to be part of those countries that were meant to defend, and the Minister of Defense announced yesterday that Israel will know how to defend itself. According to Gordon, "The threat of the Houthis to the shipping world is international. We saw that it was published that the ships threatened by the Houthis were without an Israeli market, so the problem is global, which led to the intervention of the US and other countries that established a task force."

He also added that "the Navy, which operates all day, also arrived there. We arrived at the scene of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Eilat for the sake of fulfilling our mission and diverse tasks. I am sure that any threat that is formed and discovered, even if at the level of the plans, we in the Navy will know how to respond with what the political echelon will instruct us to do."

In conclusion, Lt. Col. Gordon wishes to convey to the residents that Israel will have the upper hand. "We will win the war with God's help and restore full security to the State of Israel, to the residents of the south and the north and everyone, wherever they are, to continue living their lives. We as an army will continue to protect our country and our people."

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