"In the air, on ground or at sea, IAF pilots must be able to face danger"

A new cycle of cadets began pilot training this week, including 20 women. IAF Commander: “If you succeed you will become the strongest link in Israel’s defense”

Date: 16/07/2012, 10:41 AM     Author: IAF Website

Hundreds of new IDF (Zahal) recruits began pilot training this week at the IAF flight academy. All the new cadets excelled in every test and classification stage, including health exams, aviation simulators, psychological tests and more, though only a select few will complete the entire course and become IAF pilots. The new cycle includes 20 women, and 20 IDF (Zahal) officials who previously served in various IDF (Zahal) units.

IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, greeted the new cadets: “We’re very glad to see you’re here, starting this journey”. He added that “it’s a very interesting road, not an easy one, but definitely possible. It’s no secret that many begin this course and only a few graduate but you are here because we believe that you qualify. There are certain characteristics that only air crew members possess. In the air, on ground or at sea, an IAF pilot must be able to face danger and overcome his fears.” Wishing the cadets good luck, Maj. Gen. Eshel added, “Give it everything you’ve got in order to succeed within the limited borders we hold. If you thrive, you’ll become the strongest link in the defense chain of Israel.”

Cpt. A. (26) arrived at the course after serving in the highly classified 8200 Intelligence Unit. His father operated as a combat navigator of ‘The First Squadron’ and was held hostage in Syria during the Yom Kippur War. His younger brother also recently began pilots training. “If everything goes as planned, I will finish the course six months after him”, said Cpt. A. “I worked hard to get here employing determination and persistence. It’s a childhood dream of mine and maybe I can finally make it come true.”

Pvt. Roni, who is also a pilot in training, explained that “I want to be a combat helicopter pilot, it fascinates me. My expectation is to reach the graduating ceremony in three years. Right now it’s only a hope and a dream but I’ll do my best to make it come true.”