Military Attachés Learn About IAF

Photo by: Ateret Waxler

Military Attachés Learn About IAF

Photo by: Ateret Waxler

Military Attachés Learn About IAF

The military attachés in charge of managing the relationship between their armies and the IDF

Photo by: Ateret Waxler

Fifteen military attachés currently on diplomatic missions in Israel arrived at Ramat-David Airbase last week. During their visit they learnt about IAF activity in the north and became acquainted with their co-workers

Noa Fenigstein | Translation: Eden Sharon

Fifteen military attachés visited the “First Jet” squadron in Ramat-David Airbase last week. The military attachés are high-ranking officers from foreign countries who are on diplomatic missions in Israel and are in charge of managing the relationship between their armies and the IDF. During the visit to Ramat-David, the attachés were briefed on the IAF’s activity during Operation “Protective Edge” and visited the “Defenders of the West” aerial patrol squadron and the combat helicopter division. The goal of the tour was to inform the attachés of the challenges of the northern front and the ways in which the airbase deals with them.

The attachés were very impressed with the soldiers of the Israeli army and the IAF: new pilots and technicians alongside veteran and devoted reservists. “During Operation ‘Protective Edge’ the ‘First Jet’ squadron carried out hundreds of airstrikes-mostly by reservists. The technical branch was also staffed with extra reservists”, said Lieutenant Colonel Oren, Squadron Commander. “It is not a foregone conclusion that they will come here and work day and night when rockets are raining down on their homes and families”.

“In case of an incident in the northern border, the youngest combat helicopter pilot will be the first to arrive on the scene, accompanied by mechanics who are also new at their job. This is the uniqueness of the IAF”, added Major Essie, Head of the European Desk of the IAF International Affairs Branch. “As a pilot in the IAF, I feel like I’m protecting my country and my family”.

Interrupted by Dispatch

While the visitors attended a routine briefing at the “First Jet” squadron, a siren suddenly interrupted the instructor. “The squadron is currently on high alert, and pilots have just been called to wait in the fighter jets should a takeoff be necessary”, explained Lieutenant Colonel Oren, Squadron Commander, to the guests in the briefing room. “This is not an unusual event here at Ramat-David Airbase. We are always prepared”. Minutes later, F-16 fighter jets were dispatched for a mission.

The visit was initiated by Major Essie, Head of Europe and Latin America Desk at the IAF International Affairs Branch, whom the visitors usually meet sitting behind his office desk, wearing his regular uniforms. But once a week, Major Essie removes his blue uniforms, wears a G-Suit, and arrives at the squadron to perform his secondary job, or rather his first, as a combat pilot. “This is not a show put on for you; this is our everyday reality”, said Major Essie to the attachés. “We are here to carry out our mission to defend the lives of the citizens of Israel”.

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