The New Operators The New Operators The New Operators The New Operators The New Operators

Inside the UAV Control Room The ranks are unveiled, the “operator’s wings” attached to the chest and sealed in a ceremonious half-hour event: The UAV Formation is receiving new internal operators

Mai Efrat

For one of the future operators, the “course” experience isn’t a foreign one at the least. In fact, during his military service he went through over five courses and switched military beret colors.

First Lieutenant Eliran was drafted in the year 2006 to the Pilot Training Course and was eliminated after 10 months. He arrived at the “Golani” infantry Brigade, where he went through a course that encompassed a Commander Course, an Officers Course and service as a team commander. After three years in the brigade, he decided to try his luck again in the Pilot Training Course.

“It wasn’t an easy decision at all. I loved the brigade very much and only have positive memories from it but I decided that it’s an opportunity I don’t want to miss”, says Eliran, “Becoming a pilot has been a dream of mine from a young age and I would regret it if I didn’t put in 100 percent to reach my goal”.

First Lieutenant Eliran went through Pilot Training Course in the helicopter course until his participation was halted at the end of the initial level. His release date was already on the horizon and Eliran started imagining his life as a civilian, until a phone call from a friend convinced him to join a UAV Operator Course.

“In the beginning I thought it doesn’t suit me at all but now, after I’ve been exposed to the UAV’s role, I don’t regret my decision at the least. I have a feeling that if I were to return to the Military Infantry Corps I wouldn’t have lived up to my potential”, he shares, “I can’t wait to start work already, probably alongside said friend in the same squadron”.

Even though he is the oldest participant in the course, who was more than once in the “Instructor’s” shoes, it seems that Eliran is happy to accept his position as an apprentice. “As someone who was a commander, I can say it’s nice to not have soldiers under you, no overwhelming responsibilities”, he smiles, “Thinking and feeling like an apprentice is quite nice”.

Not only male participants are completing the course today. Two girls will wear the “operator’s wings”.
“This is a large number of girls compared to previous courses”, says Second Lieutenant Omer, one of the new female officers. “We don’t feel like a minority but an important part of the UAV Formation. In contrast to the Pilot Training Course, the gender gap in the UAV Operator Course is closing quickly because the challenge is mostly intellectual and less physical. I fell in love with the formation, it has an amazing atmosphere alongside a role with much satisfaction. I hope more girls will join us in the future”.