The people of “Defenders of the West” understand the language of the Navy and how to translate it into the language of the Air Force
Yesterday, the squadron celebrated 25 years
The squadron holds thousands of sailing and flight hours The “Defenders of the West” squadron, which takes off to complete classified missions in distant places alongside missile boat commandos, celebrated 25 years of cooperation between the IAF and the Israeli Navy. “It’s not an easy task combining sky and land”, said Major General Amir Eshel, “Continue expanding our horizons”.
“Defenders of the West” celebrated yesterday its 25th anniversary: still young and lively, though already experienced. For more than two decades, the naval observation commando was able to gather immense amounts of intelligence. “The formation’s mission statement has operational missions alongside the navy and other commanders of the headquarters imprinted in it”, said Colonel Nir, commander of Ramat David Airbase– home of the squadron. “The most impressive cooperation is how it all goes in the cockpit, aerial and naval warriors moving together in battle”.
Many stories are collected during the exercise and the helicopter formation has a bunch. Members of the squadron posses hundreds of sailing hours and it seems as if they are the only ones in the Force that spend long days on a missile ship and even have the appropriate naval pin. “”Defenders of the West” know how to understand the navy and translate it into their own ‘Air Force’ language”, said the commander of a navy platoon, Brigadier General Oded Gur Lavi.
“The Defenders of the West Know No Limits”
The “Defenders of the West” Squadron began its way as a small department at Palmachim Airbase. It was established when the navy needed a sea-helicopter but only had two ‘dolphin’ helicopters. Since then, many changes have had to be made to the formation (the arrival of ‘Panther’ helicopters, advanced radars and other systems) yet its goal stays consistent: Aerially assisting the Navy. “It’s a very unique and special squadron”, said Lieutenant colonel Rani, commander of the formation. “The Defenders of the West know no limits”.
Commander of the IAF, Major General Amir Eshel, said: “It’s not an easy task combining sky and land, and we have all learned how to do it correctly. This is another stepping stone for the IAF and a very encouraging sign than links us for years to come, expanding the Navy’s horizons as well as the IAF’s”.