The phone in the operations room is ringing off the hook, air crews are returning from a flight and the next one needs to be prepared for–this will be the lives of the new IAF operations officials who will be recruited tomorrow
33 girls will be recruited and begin their journey toward their roles as operations officials (operational clerks) at the various formations and fronts of the IAF. After successfully overcoming a serious of exams at the aerial medical unit, they will arrive for basic training at Ovda Airbase. Afterward, the real training will begin: a course of six weeks during which the young Privates will learn about their role as operations officials, memorize squadron numbers and simulate real situations.
In daily life, operations officials are at the heart of operational activity in the force, in a variety of squadrons and units active in the air and on the ground. “I heard about this job even before getting drafted and was very interested”, says Corporal Maya Cohen, an operations official at “The First” forecasting squadron. “When I completed the course, I realized that I find the forecasting formation interesting, and arrived at this squadron. Serving in an operational environment is not a trivial thing for a young girl”, she states. “You have a lot of responsibility, and it isn’t simple”. Private Orad Shalev, an operations official at “The One” combat squadron, agrees. “There’s no room for mistakes”, she says. “Every detail is of immense importance, whether we’re talking about correct flight zones or the right location pages”.
In combat, the roles of the operations officials are of tremendous operation importance, and they take a crucial part of the force’s activity. During operation “Pillar of Defense”, squadrons were active at all hours of the day, conducted innumerous missions and prepared for every possible scenario and requirement. “The night before the operation was a long night shift at the squadron”, shares Corporal Maya. “At 5:00 in the morning they told us that the entire schedule is about to change. I was up all night, there was a feeling of uncertainty and a series of flights immediately took off. The next day, it all began”.