In His Footsteps

S’ continued in his brother’s path and became an aerial technician In His Footsteps

Will become aerial fighters In His Footsteps

“It’s important that we’re familiar with the area” Five in-flight technicians have joined the helicopter formations of the IAF. Amongst them stood Sergeant Major S, whose aerial technician brother was killed in the CH-53 Stallion helicopter crash in Romania two years ago

Lilach Gonen

A moment before they receive their crew wings, after long months of arduous training, five Crew Chiefs (in-flight technicians) begin their journey. They do not know what to expect or what will be waiting for them along the way. “It’s important for us, even as technicians, to really know the areas and fields”, explained Major Eran, commander of the course. “We take them off the runway and at the end of the course they are just like any other aerial fighter”.

One by one, five of the thrilled cadets stepped off the helicopter into the twilight hour of the southern desert after their last flight as cadets of the UH-60 Blackhawk. For one of them, it was more than just a moving moment: Sergeant Major S’ became a Crew Chief two year after his brother, who held the same role in the IAF, was killed in the CH-53 Stallion helicopter crash in Romania.

Back then, Sergeant Major S’ was a ground technician in the same formation as his brother: “The Nocturnal Birds Squadron”. On July 26th, 2010, he was in the middle of a shift in the squadron. That’s where he was notified of the tragedy that had occurred. Three days later, an airplane landed in Israel carrying six coffins. “What matters is that you brought him back”, he said to Commander of the IAF.

Today, Sergeant Major S’ stepped in his brother’s footsteps and received his ‘Crew Chief’ pin. “I need this continuation, I want to do this for him”, he said. “It’s still very hard for me to acknowledge that he isn’t here, I miss him a lot. I completed this course and followed in his footsteps”.