Photo: Maj. Gen. Nechushtan and his family
IAF bids its commander farewell this week, after four years of leading the IAF, almost 5,000 flights and 37 years of service, to be replaced by Maj. Gen. Eshel
Date: 13/05/2012, 1:23 PM Author: IAF Website
This week the Israeli Air Force will be saying goodbye to its current commander, Maj. Gen. Ido Nechushtan, who fiercely led the IAF for four years. After 37 years of service and almost 5,000 flights, Maj. Gen. Nechushtan departed on his last flight as IAF Commander on Friday May 11), accompanied by family, friends and fellow pilots. Taking over the position, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel was appointed the new IAF Commander in a ceremony held on Thursday (May 10).
“It’s not even remotely similar to any other job”, said Maj. Gen. Nechushtan in farewell interview with the IAF Magazine. “I was a young pilot, head of Squadron, and a base Commander. I operated within the Headquarters, dealt with intelligence, operations and preserved the force’s power, but commanding over the entire Israeli Air Force is completely different. You have to be fully involved with every single detail, with the places, aircrafts and results”.
Ido Nechushtan was recruited to the elite IAF Pilot Training Course in July 1975. After graduating the course he was stationed at the “Skyhawk” Squadron. Later on, he began training to fly the “Phantom” and was stationed at the “Knights of the Orange Tail” Squadron”. In 1979, he became an instructor in the Aviation Academy and operated as a member of the Aerobatics Team.
After being trained to fly on the F-16 Fighting Falcon, he was positioned at the “Negev” Squadron where he operated as deputy commander. Later on, he commanded on the “Golden Eagle” and “The Scorpion” Combat Squadrons. In 1993 he operated as Head of the Ammunition Department in the Headquarters, and a year later he became a Colonel and head of the Organization and Planning department.
In 1997, he became Commander of Hatzor Airbase–the only base he ever headed. After three years, he became a Brigadier General and was deemed Head of the Intelligence Formation. In 2002 he was appointed Head of Aerial Squadrons, and in 2004 he became head of the IAF Headquarters. In the summer of 2006 he was given his Major General insignia, became head of Planning Department, and proceeded to become the 16th commander of the IAF.