With a confident grin on their faces, the previous airbase commanders enter the gates of the very familiar Ramat David Airbase. Just like old times, they put on their pilot suits, received a tour among the combat squadrons and were impressed by the newer generations that carry on their legacy. “It’s always good to be back home”
Michal Khayut | Photography: Chen Batito, Ramat David Airbase
Green is the dominant color at the northern Ramat David Airbase, thanks to both the plethora of trees and the green pilot suits worn by the pilots roaming around base. As always, the base was filled with dozens of aerial crew members, but this time some unusual faces were seen around: the former airbase commanders which had hung their suits up a long time ago.
One by one, they arrived at the large yard where a pilot is waiting in the big shoes they used to fill: the current Commander of Ramat David Airbase, Colonel Nir. Wearing their pilot suits, raising their voices over the airplane’s noises, they reminisced about the days in command.
“Happy to Be Here Again”
The commanders got a briefing on the changes that had been made since they left. Alongside Colonel Nir, they toured the squadrons and observed at many changes and new advancements–the smart ammunition of combat formations and forecast systems in the AS-565 Panther helicopters. After an operational briefing of the place, they also talked about the new challenges.
Amongst the visitors you could find commanders that have gone far in the force, such as Major General (Res.) Eliezer Shkedi, who later commanded over the IAF, or Brigadier General (Res.) Avner Neva who is the flying ace who dropped seven enemy airplanes. “He was my commander”, says Major General (Res.) Shkedi with a smile. “It’s a very emotional position, seeing my commanders again. I’m happy to be here again; it’s always nice to come back home”.