The IAF has been a part of the international cadet exchange program for quite a while. Cadets from the age of 17 to 24 from around the world arrive in Israel with one thing that connects them all- their love for aviation, in the meantime, fighters and pilots of the IAF takeoff to various countries and assist with Israeli advocacy efforts. This summer, cadets from Canada, United States of American, Germany, France, Holland, Hong Kong, and South Korea landed in Israel and stayed with hosting families, getting to know Israel in a closer manner.
The delegacy members visited in different sites along Israel starting in Kiryat Shmona all the way to Eilat. Not only did they manage to visit historic sites like old Jerusalem and Masada, they also had the opportunity to enter all IAF bases like the Northern Ramat David and the Southern Ovda. “The IAF has the highest dropping score in Aerial Combats, they use the powerful F-16” says Michael an American 17 year old Cadet. “I really wanted to come to Israel”, he says. “I wanted to learn more about the conflicts. In my opinion, the west paints one side of the whole picture and simplifies it, but it’s much more complex than we think.”
Moses, an 18 year old Canadian, is a pilot. He received his pilot license at the age of 16 after six weeks of training, which is why the IAF course seems to him like a very long time. “I know that in order to become a pilot in the IAF, you have to be fit physically and mentally”, he says. “According to my knowledge, the IAF conducts one of the world’s most intense courses.”
Knowing the Israeli Culture
“This delegacy is a part of an amazing project that has lasted many years”, says Brigadier General Ilan Boger, Head of Human Resource Squadron who is responsible of the foreign Cadets, leaders of the delegacy, commanders of the organization from various countries and the hosting families. “This project allows us to show a different side of Israel and the IAF. It’s a great opportunity for our visitors to know the Israeli culture aside of what they see and hear from the international Media. I have every hope that this project will assist the strengthening of our international relations.”