IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, officially assumed command of the IAF tonight in an official change of command ceremony, and replaced Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel who has retired from the IDF after 40 years of military service

Eitam Almadon

IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, assumed command of the IAF in the official change of command ceremony which took place in Tel-Nof AFB tonight (Monday), in the presence of the IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. USAF Commander, General David L. Goldfein, who awarded Maj. Gen. Eshel with the Legion of Merit for his efforts to deepen the cooperation between the two countries during his tenure, also attended the ceremony. “The IAF is a strategic force which guarantees Israel’s safety”, said IDF Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

IAF Commander: Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin

Photography: Mor Tzidon

A World Leader
Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin has replaced Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, who is retiring from the IDF after 40 years of military service. “Amir, I thank you for a brave partnership and friendship and express my appreciation for your 40 years of service on behalf of the entire IDF”, added Lt. Gen. Eizenkot.

IAF Commander: Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin

Maj. Gen. Eshel & General David L. Goldfein | Photography: Mor Tzidon

“The IAF of 2017 is a world leader in attack capabilities, aerial defense, UAVs and jointness with ground and naval forces. The IAF’s capabilities, in attack & defense, were tested over the past years in thousands of operations, 5 theatres, close ranges and thousands of kilometers away from home. Threats were foiled, targets were destroyed, rockets and aircraft were intercepted and downed”, Maj. Gen. Eshel said in the ceremony.

IAF Commander: Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin

Photography: Mor Tzidon

Confidence in People and Abilities
Maj. Gen. Norkin officially became the Commander of the IAF today after serving as Head of the IDF Planning Directorate for two years. In this position, Maj. Gen. Norkin was responsible for the IDF’s strategic planning, military force buildup, and organization. “I assume command of the IAF with confidence in its people and abilities and with great personal excitement”, Maj. Gen. Norkin said. Lt. Gen. Eizenkot added: “Norkin, I am certain your capabilities as an exceptional commander will stand in your favor while you bear the great responsibility of commanding this powerful force”.

Maj. Gen. Norkin began his military service in the IDF Flight Academy from which he graduated with honors. He was then assigned to the “Knights of the Twin Tail” Squadron, which operates the “Baz” (F-15), and became the youngest F-15 pilot in the world. Throughout the years Maj. Gen. Norkin climbed up the ladder of positions and ranks, commanded the “Knights of the Twin Tail” Squadron, and in 2004 assumed command of the IAF’s first “Sufa” (F-16I) Squadron’s establishment team.

IAF Commander: Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin

Photography: Mor Tzidon

Looking to the Future
More recently, Maj. Gen. Norkin commanded Tel-Nof AFB, served as Head of the IAF’s Air Division and Chief of Air Staff. “Over the next few years the IAF will integrate advanced technology, expand its jointness and continue strengthening its relations with other air forces”, said Maj. Gen. Norkin in his speech. “But above all, in the next few years the IAF will nurture its personnel, deepen their feeling of belonging, ability to make a difference and sense of satisfaction from their work. Because the people of the IAF – are the true source of power”

Maj. Gen. Norkin is married and a father of three. He is an Alumnus of the Israel National Defense College and holds an M.A in Political Science (with honors), from the University of Haifa. “Maj. Gen. Norkin is an excellent commander, highly experienced and worthy of the heavy responsibility. I trust in your capabilities”, Maj. Gen. Eshel congratulated Maj. Gen. Norkin. 

IAF Commander: Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin

Photography: Celia Garion

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