Following the terror attack in the heart of capital of Turkey, an IDF delegation took off for Istanbul in a “Shimson” (C-130J Super Hercules) with IAF, Home Front Command and Medical Corps forces. The delegation will assist in the treatment and transportation of the injured Israeli citizens back to Israel and includes a flown Operation Room and Intensive Care Unit

Talya Yariv | Translation: Ohad Zeltzer Zubida

An IDF delegation has left for Istanbul. The delegation took off from the Tel-Nof AFB this morning in a “Shimshon” (C-130J Super Hercules) and includes IAF, Home Front Command and Medical Corps forces and a flown Operation Room and Intensive Care Unit. The purpose of the delegation is to assist in the treatment and transportation of the Israeli citizens injured in the terror attack in Istanbul. The commander of the delegation is Col. Yair Barkat, the Commander of the Home Front Command Rescue and Instruction Division.

“In the past hours, we have prepared the aircraft for the mission and in a short time we were ready to send off the delegation”, said Brig. Gen. Leehu HaCohen, Nevatim AFB Commander. “There is a feeling of mission when participating in these types of events, being anywhere in the world for our citizens”.
The IAF’s “Elephants” Squadron which is responsible for flying the delegation to Turkey, worked long hours in order to prepare for executing the complex mission during the night. As a part of the delegation, the squadron will execute missions of a completely different nature from the exercises and mission it is used to execute.

The IDF Delegation has landed in Istanbul

Photography: IDF Spokesperson

“We were on ready alert over the weekend and a short time afterwards we were alerted, we were ready for takeoff”, said Maj. Aharon, the Commander of the “Elephant” Squadron’s Technical Division. “This isn’t a routine infantry transportation flight, but an evacuation of injured citizens, one we had to prepare for in a very short time with appropriate technical equipment and correct configuration of the aircraft. We are responsible for making sure that the aircraft takes off, lands in Turkey and returns safely to Israel in order for us to execute our mission. I feel like it is a mission – our duty, and the IAF’s ability to do it in such short time, indicates its strength”.

The delegation consists of a few dozen participants whose mission is to safely return some of the injured citizens and the three bodies of those killed in the terror attack in the heart of Istanbul. “We are prepared to receive the injured individuals in different conditions and we will also take injured and killed family members if necessary”, explained Capt. Guy, the squadron’s Loadmaster Division Commander. “Most of the work is organizing the puzzle of the aircraft cabin accordingly with our limitations in order to allow quick and safe exit. Our abilities come to fruition in such cases, maybe more than everything”.

The IDF Delegation has landed in Istanbul

Photography: IDF Spokesperson