Rafi Milo
Rafi Milo IDF spokesperson

On Sunday, Major Genearl Rafi Milo entered his new position as Commanding Officer of the Home Front Command.

Milo is replacing Major Genreal Ori Gordin, who served in this position for the past two years. Gordin will take up the position of Commanding Officer of the Northern Command in the coming months.

Over the past two years, the Home Front Command under the command of Gordon, has been improving preparedness of the civilian front for the next emergency scenario, combating the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing international assistance through the IDF’s rescue and medical humanitarian delegations.

As part of the ongoing efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Home Front Command established the “Alon'' Headquarters, which successfully dealt with breaking the chains of infection and reducing the spread of the virus.

In addition, the command operated during Operation “Guardian of the Walls” in May 2021 to provide a response to a wide range of scenarios. These scenarios involved various arenas as well as making the emergency guidelines for the population accessible to the public.

At the same time, the Home Front Command engaged in day-to-day activities designed to improve the response to emergency situations, including strengthening ties with local organizations and authorities, technological capabilities for scenarios on the home front, exercises, training drills, and other activities.

A ceremony to mark the change of command was held at the Home Front Command headquarters, led by IDF Chief of the General Staff Aviv Kochavi, and Deputy Minister of Defense Alon Schuster (Blue and White). The ceremony included the participation of commanders, soldiers, families, and additional guests.

Speaking at the ceremony, Kochavi said: "The mission of the IDF is to defend the State of Israel and maintain the safety of its civilians. The soldiers and commanders of the IDF operate around the clock to build a modern military that is adapted to challenges of our era. The IDF operates and assists the State of Israel in various ways besides those related to security and defense, and the Home Front Command is a clear example of this. The Home Front Command has expanded its dedicated tasks in many areas and strengthened its capabilities and influence in every arena and at all times."

"You, the soldiers and commanders of the Home Front Command, were at the forefront of the effort against the COVID-19 pandemic. Driven by a sense of mission, professionalism and oversight, you mobilized all of your abilities and skills to face this new and unexpected enemy in a campaign that required the development of new knowledge and tactics. Along with all the challenges you faced, you continued to operate in additional arenas, most notably during Operation ‘Guardian of the Walls’. While operating everywhere you were needed, shoulder-to-shoulder with different organizations and additional security bodies in rescue, training and operational activities, you once again proved that the IDF is a ‘people’s army,’ that operates for the common good of Israel’s civilians."

Turning to the outgoing commander, Kochavi continued, "Ori, you entered the position during one of the most challenging periods known to the State of Israel in past decades and led the campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic with professionalism and creativity."

"You worked night and day with those under your command, with professional guidance that provided solutions and security. You did this with an attitude committed to learning, leadership and in cooperation. I thank you and trust that you will successfully face the challenges of the Northern Command, based on your operational and personal experiences."

He continued, "Rafi, you are an officer with impeccable operational experience and well-acquainted with the needs of Israeli society, which is now your main mission. Your commitment and leadership abilities, along with your capacity to learn and lead the required operations, are one of the more undervalued and effective tools at your disposal. I am confident you will succeed, and trust you and expect you to continue to develop your command abilities during routine and emergency scenarios, as well as during a campaign if necessary."

"Preparing the Israeli home front for the next campaign is a task that must be accelerated in the coming years, especially in light of the possibility that we will be required to act against the nuclear threat. The IDF continues to diligently prepare for a strike against the Iranian regime and is obligated to be prepared for all developments and scenarios. Preparing a military option against the Iranian nuclear program is a moral obligation and a national security order. The preparations for military action against this nuclear program are the focus of the IDF’s preparations and include a variety of operational plans, allocation of significant resources, acquisition of suitable weapons, intelligence capabilities and exercises."

אביב כוכבי
אביב כוכבי צילום: דובר צה"ל

Outgoing commanding officer Gordin said, "In the past two years, the home front faced many challenges, both in operational and civilian matters. This included the COVID-19 pandemic, Operation ‘Guardian of the Walls’, widespread fires, floods, shootings in different arenas, assisting the integration of new immigrants and preventing terrorists from infiltrating into Israeli territories - and we stood proudly in the face of all of these challenges."

"When our international allies were in times of need, we reached out and gave assistance. This assistance was enabled thanks to the people involved, who worked with unity. Therefore, today I would like to thank the people who led the work to strengthen Israeli resilience and speak in praise of the national cooperation and relevance. All the impressive work and progress made in the readiness of the home front would not have been possible without a strong and professional leading team of the command.

"The Home Front Command is a reserve-based command, and you, the reservists, taught me a lesson in commitment and dedication. The civilians of the State of Israel owe you the deepest gratitude. Local authorities were involved in all activities regarding the Israeli home front. We maximized the potential of serving the Israeli civilian population thanks to cooperation and mutual commitment - thank you for the bond that was formed and the ongoing cooperation."

Turning to his successor, Gordon continued, "Rafi, I have no doubt that you are prepared to fulfill your new position. I trust you and your ability to lead while seeing the good of the civilians first and foremost. To the commanders of the Home Front Command - I am grateful for having the privilege of serving beside you and leading you through the challenges that faced the home front. You are a pillar of the greatness of the Israeli society."

Incoming commanding officer Milo said: "Military victory is determined on the battlefield, in our ability to strike and neutralize the enemy, in faith in purpose and through the desire to win. And yet, in recent years our ability to win also rests on another effort - the home front. The mission of the Home Front Command is to strengthen national resilience, save lives and promote the Israeli home front’s readiness for emergency scenarios."

"The Home Front Command demands a high-level of readiness - which includes building capabilities, infrastructure, partnerships, operational plans, competence, and awareness, both of the Israeli society and of the Home Front Command. At the same time the Command is required to constantly progress and improve itself to evolving threats, advanced technology, and up-to-date perceptions.

"Ori, under your leadership the Command has been strengthened and has demonstrated flexibility and commitment to the challenges and national requirements of the State of Israel. I want to thank you for leading the Command. I wish you great success in the Northern Command, there is no one more qualified than you.

"Commanders of the Home Front Command, I am happy to join you and I am sure that together we can meet every challenge and every task we will face."