Around 10,000 Holocaust survivors were hosted at 12 airbases
The Hercules C-130J can accomodate up to 97 paratroopers and their equipment
Last November, the Blue Flag exercise was held at Ouvda airbase
Launching Another Satellite Into Space
The IAF continues to stay true to its official name: The Air and Space Arm.
In April, the intelligence-gathering satellite “Ofek 10” was successfully launched into space from the launching field of the Missile Tests Unit at an airbase in central Israel. The new satellite will supply intelligence during day, night and under all weather conditions.
New Branches of the Military Academy
Branches of the military academy continue to spread across Israel. Four new military academy branches began operating this year in Beit Shemesh, Ramla, Gedera and Binyamina. 2,922 cadets began their studies this year at 20 different branches, a 17% increase from the previous year.
Yes, You Can
Up until a few months ago, due to the risks involved, aircrew members who were pregnant were prevented from flying. Recently, the issue was reviewed and it was decided that from now on, women would be able to fly under certain restrictions and guidelines that will reduce the threat and ensure a safe flight.
The Largest International Training Exercise
Last November, the “Blue Flag” training exercise was held, the largest exercise in the history of the Israeli Air Force, during which pilots from the American, Italian and Greek air forces came to the southern airbase in Ouvda. The exercise was considered a great success and the force has been working on a similar international exercise to be held next summer.
Thousands of Holocaust Survivors Visited IAF Airbases
As part of a special project conducted by the IAF, around 10,000 Holocaust survivors were hosted at 12 of the forces airbases and were given a glimpse of Israeli power. “I am excited that you’re all here and I am happy for the opportunity to meet you”, said Major General Amir Eshel, IAF commander. “The IAF belongs to you”.
Sky & Earth
The Cooperation Unit examined the implementation of two type of combat doctrine in an exercise with the Armored Division. The first one defines how an aircraft should fly in the space just above the ground amid UAVs, artillery fire, missiles and helicopters in the air. The second doctrine has to do with new training of officers of the division who are in the field that allows them to plan airdropping ground forces.
Changes In Operational Headquarters
Last year, a decision was made in the force to separate and expand the Operations Department into an independent department that will be called the “Aerial Operations Department” and will be headed by Brigadier General Tomer Bar.
“The demands and expectations from the IAF nowadays are different from those of the past because of the increase in the number of missions assigned to the force”, explains Colonel Nimrod, who is responsible for setting up the department. “Therefore, an organizational structure that supports complex and coordinated operations is needed”.
The Landing of the First C-130J Hercules
A few weeks ago, the new C-130J Hercules (“Shimshon”) landed at Nevatim airbase in the Negev. The new plane can accommodate 92 paratroopers with their equipment, instead of the 64 its predecessor, the Hercules C-130H, can carry.
“Most of its missions and goals involve tactical transport of forces and cargo for short and long distances, in large quantities and with high accuracy”, explained Lieutenant Colonel Uri, the commander of “The Elephants” squadron, who integrated the new plane into the squadron.
The IAF in The Storm
The IAF assisted people who were injured during the storm that hit Israel in December. The IAF enlisted the help of the soldiers of the “Kingfisher” commando unit and even as early as the beginning of the storm, they worked in Jerusalem and the Gush Etzion area to transport civilians and equipment in the areas hit hardest, using special vehicles they owned.
Additional Layers of Air Defense
In recent months the “Arrow-3” and the “David’s Sling” systems were tested. These systems will be added to the aerial defense systems of the force. The systems will provide additional layers of defense and will allow longer ranges of protection. The “Arrow-3” system even possesses the ability to intercept missiles outside of the atmosphere and effectively addresses future threats.
Advanced Flight Simulator
Last year, the Mission Training Center, which houses one of the most advanced flight simulator in the world, opened at the Hatzor airbase. The simulator allows a number of aircrew members to simulate a full training exercise from the briefing to the debriefing, including executing the mission in a way that simulates reality with the help of display screens in the simulator.
“We decided to take up the challenge for a technological vision that includes good training that cannot be simulated, while dealing with the issue of cost”, explains IAF Commander, Amir Eshel.
One for Next Year: The Lavi
The IAF is working rigorously in preparation for the landing of the new training jet, the “Lavi” (M-346). The plane, which provides the IAF with advanced flight capabilities, will allow for effective and comprehensive training and will dramatically change the training of the next generation of pilots and weapon systems officers in the IAF.