The Israeli Air Force has begun training its first class of mid-range missile-defense operators, a significant step toward the completion of a multi-tiered missile-defense system, the Defense Ministry announced on Monday.

“The vision that was laid out a decade ago, today becomes a reality,” Yair Ramati, the head of the Israel Missile Defense Organization at the ministry, said at the launch of the inaugural course.

The David’s Sling missile-defense system, also known as Magic Wand, was designed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the US defense firm Raytheon to thwart rockets and missiles fired from between 100-300 kilometers (62-186 miles) away — a pivotal range that includes most of Hezbollah’s strategic weapons arsenal. […]