Chief of Staff: IDF, IAF will be prepared for any challenge

Lt. Gen. Gantz and IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Eshel address pilots’ graduation ceremony. Maj. Gen. Eshel: “The Air Force today is a sharp and pointed arrow”

Date: 27/12/2012, 6:18 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

The Israel Air Force’s graduating class of pilots received their wings today (Thursday, December 27), in a ceremony held at the Hatzerim Air Force base. Those in attendance included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, and IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, as well as family, friends, and soldiers and officers of the IAF.

The Chief of Staff congratulated the graduating pilots, saying, “The hit that our enemies took and the damage that was caused to the operational infrastructures of the terror organizations were recorded largely thanks to the pilots that you have met, thanks to your instructors and commanders.”

“Today, you are joining them, into the Air Force that provides us in the IDF (Zahal) with the ability to carry out strikes surgically, with strength, flexibility, and decisiveness. Graduates, the next mission is your mission,” added Lt. Gen. Gantz. “You are the guarantee that also in the future, against every necessary challenge, the Air Force and the IDF (Zahal) will stand ready, prepared, and determined to carry out the mission.”

IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel also addressed the ceremony. “The Air Force today is a sharp and pointed arrow. The snap of the bowstring will boost the aerial power at every range and for every multi-arena need,” he said. “The Air Force can reach every range required, and anyone who tries to hurt us – our strike against them will be harsh and will echo throughout the Middle East.”

The pilots’ graduation follows three years of intense preparation, including officer training, flight training, and academic studies culminating in a degree from Ben-Gurion University.