It was the longest and farthest sortie of all. A quarter of a century has passed since the successful execution of operation “Wooden Leg”. Its participants got together in order to remind and be remembered. While times have passed, and many things have changed, they were assured by the Tel-Nof air base commander that the big things have remained the same
The “Tip of the Spear” squadron at the Tel-Nof air base, marked 25 years since the successful execution of operation “Wooden Leg”. Until this day, this operation is the longest and farthest most of all.
On Oct. 1st, 1985, six fighter jets from “Tip of the Spear” squadron along with two aircraft from “Knights of the double tail” squadron, attacked the PLO head quarters in Tunisia. The attack came in response to the brutal murder of three Israelis by a Palestinian terrorist, who were resting on a yacht off the shore of Cyprus. “Force 17” of the PLO assumed responsibility for the attack, and the decision to retaliate was made same day – an air strike.
12 pilots and navigators of the “Tip of the Spear” squadron who took part in the operation, joined the present servicemen to a debrief of an exercise conducted on Thursday and toured the base. Later, the group gathered for a presentation, where present servicemen were introduced to the details of the operation, accompanied by personal stories. Operation’s background was provided by Lieut. Col. Moti Havakuk, head of the history department.
The evening event was also attended by veterans of the “Desert Giants” squadron who performed the aerial refuelling during the long flight, veterans of “Knights of the Double Tail” squadron, the technical crew who prepared the jets, and everyone’s relatives.
At the event, a movie dedicated to the operation was screened, and its participants received a special gift, which included a copy of the maps used for the operation, and a joint photograph of the servicemen.
“25 years have passed. The squadron, which was only three years old at the time, has matured. The “Spear” is greater, the blue uniform of the technical crew made room to blue overalls, the jets are new, and the slogan above the entrance to the debriefing room was changed from “the way to define the limits of possible, is by crossing them towards the impossible” to “there is no too far a place””, said the air base Commander, Brig. Gen. A. “25 years have passed, but the big things have remained the same. The flexible and creative force is still relevant. The threats still exist. 25 years have passed. Back at the day I just graduated from high school. Today I command this base. As the commander, allow me to tell you: I am proud of you. Trust our air force, because there is no other place for us on earth’.