IAF’s newest pilots receive their wings

Chief of Staff: We will reach any place where our enemies operate against us

Date: 29/12/2011, 6:38 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

The Israel Air Force held a flight school graduation ceremony at Hatzerim on Thursday (December 29), with the IAF’s newest aviators receiving their flight wings.

The ceremony marked the end of a three-year course that included officer and pilot training, as well as an academic degree from Ben-Gurion University.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, and IAF Commander Major General Ido Nechushtan, as well as other distinguished guests attended the event.

As of next week, the new graduates will be stationed at different IAF squadrons and will continue their operational training as pilots, navigators and flight engineers.

A record five women received their flight wings on Thursday.

“In Israel, where women sit in the cockpit, women will sit anywhere,” Netanyahu said.

“You, the graduates of this course, are the fingers of Israel’s steel fist connected to its long arm, designed to defend the state,” Netanyahu said.

Lt. Gen. Gantz expressed warm wishes to the graduates.

“Spread your wings, take on the mission, lock onto the target, and achieve it,” Lt. Gen. Gantz said. “We are facing terrorist organizations trying to raise their heads and Iran that is advancing its nuclear capabilities. We must develop means of attack that reach deep and far, so that we can get to any place where our enemies are operating against us.”