“Next Time It Would Be Us” “Next Time It Would Be Us” “Next Time It Would Be Us” Within reach from their dream – service as aircrews – the pilot cadets continue their studies at the IAF Flight School even in times of operational activity

Noa Fenigstein

During Operation “Protective Edge”, every IAF formation carried out a variety of missions. But even in times of warfare, the IAF Flight School is always busy qualifying the next generation of aircrews.
The future pilots are only moments before receiving their pilot wings and joining the operational activity, but their studies continue.
“When the operation begun, one of our instructors took us to his squadron to see the high-alert activity and the preparations made before taking off to operational sorties”, says A’, a future helicopter pilot. “After two a half years in the pilot course, I realized exactly why I am here”.

Voices of battle field
The length of the pilot course creates a situation in which the cadets are not engaged with the operational activity for a long time.
“The feelings of a cadet during operation are difficult. At the end of the day, we are here to protect Israel and in the moment of truth we are a bit frustrate”, says L’, a future combat helicopter pilot.
The combat helicopters carried out dozens of attacks and provided fire support to ground forces.
“While we’re busy studying and practicing, our friends are fighting in Gaza and we want to help as much as we can”, adds A’. “But we know that now is not our time and our current mission is to study and study, so that next time it would be us fighting”.

“Eager to take part”
Alongside the dilemmas of the pilot cadets, the wide ranges of activity in the IAF, motivates the cadets even more to graduate the course successfully. “During the ground offensive we were at the combat helicopters squadrons and help with the work there. When we saw the vigorous activity of the force, we understood its importance in saving lives of soldiers and at the 21st century battlefield. Without combat helicopters, thing would have been much different”, explains L’. “When my friends return from the fighting and tell me about the number of lives saved by these helicopters and their help, I’m eager to take part, but I know I’m not ready yet. But I know I’m at the right place and in the right direction so that next time, it would be me”.

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