Two C-130J (“Shimshon”) airplanes and a Boeing 707 jet took off for Nepal this morning, carrying IAF aid mission and emergency equipment to the disaster-stricken area.
“We are all imbued with a sense of mission, it is a privilege and a moral obligation and we will continue to help always and everywhere”, said Lt. Col. Itamar, Commander of the “Desert Giants” squadron which operates the Boeing 707 jets. This is the first mission he manages as a squadron commander, but like many other heavy transport air crew members, he has much experience as he took part in the rescue missions from Kenya and Kosovo.
This is the first operational flights of the C-130Js squadron which became operational only last month when it passed its final tests. One airplane was loaded with the emergency equipment with the help of the squadron’s loading inspectors, while the second airplane carries the members of the mission – medical teams, Home Front Command forces and Foreign Ministry delegation.
The massive C-130J has many advantages since its cargo hold is 30% larger than this of the C-130. “It is bigger and can carry much more equipment. We just got it and already use it wisely”, said Brig. Gen. (Res.) Avshalom, the event manager on behalf of the squadron.
Dealing with the Distance
In addition to the loading of equipment, the forces had to plan the flight route to the remote Himalayan region. “The main challenge is the distance”, explained Brig. Gen. (Res.) Avshalom. Flying abroad to provide humanitarian aid is one of the most important missions of the heavy transport division.
“It feels great, no doubt about it, both because it is our first operational flight and also because we deal with humanitarian aid. We were all a part of the C-130 squadrons in the past so we have the experience. It doesn’t matter which squadron you come from, you just feel you fulfill one of the major goals of your role”.
11 Israelis Landed in Israel Last Night
11 Israelis were flown home from Kathmandu last night, three babies among them.
“We have the knowledge and experience and mostly the obligation to get the Israeli citizens back home”, said Lieutenant Colonel Ron, Commander of the “Gulfstream” squadron, after landing back in Nevatim Airbase.