The First Journey

“It’s a great honor to be a fighter” The First Journey

Behind every site along the journey stands a significant story The “First Fighter Squadron”, which is usually responsible of collecting aerial intelligence, went on a unique quest following the Squadron, IAF and the country’s historical passage. The main inspiration throughout the journey was Igal Alon: “One unaware of his past, will never know his future”

Shir Golan | Photography: Yonatan Zalk

Fighters of the “First Fighter Squadron” gathered in the briefing room for a very unusual meeting: A heritage journey that will follow the squadron’s legacy throughout the ages, IAF aerial battles and Israeli wars. The green overalls were replaced with field uniforms and aerial patrols were replaced with hiking routes.

Behind every site along the journey stands a significant story about the Israeli nation, starting in the ‘Valley of Elah’ where young David defeated Goliath, through Pilot’s Mountain monument where the fallen of the IAF are immortalized moving onto Kibbutz Netiv HaLamed-Heh which symbolizes the subversion of the Jewish settlement to an independent country.

As nightfall comes around the fighters have already began the journey, stretchers on their back and enthusiasm in their hearts, standing in front of Pilot’s Mountain. “The ‘First Fighter Squadron’ is very unique, filled with top quality members”, says one of them with pride, “It’s not just our patches or slogan. The true assets are your friends, the people you stand by in all hours of the day yet you still enjoy every moment with them”.

A conversation with the Commander of the “First Fighter Squadron” concluded the day. “When I look at a fighter I see persistence, wisdom, professionalism, brotherhood, and love for our country”, emphasized Lieutenant Colonel Itamar. “It’s a great honor to be a fighter. I believe that together we are qualified to face all our missions- in air or land, in safe times or in war.”