The Next Commander of the IAF

Major General Eshel and a Picture of IAF F-15s flying Over Auschwitz Concentration Camp The Next Commander of the IAF

The Graduates of Pilot Training Course 88. In Front: Major General Eshel The Next Commander of the IAF

Major General Amir Eshel, the Next Commander of the IAF The decision has been made: Major General Amir Eshel who will replace Major General Ido Nehoshtan as Commander of the IAF

Major General Eshel was enlisted in Pilot Training Course Number 88 in the year 1977. In an article published in the IAF Magazine about said course, from which many force executives graduated, said Major General Eshel: “We had almost no hours of sleep. That was reality then. The course in general was demanding and extremely nerve-wracking and we needed to prove our abilities all throughout. In many respects it was a daily war, but you’re not fighting against your friends in the course, but against yourself”, said Eshel about his days as a cadet. “It includes many disappointments and frustrations, along with achievements, of course. All in all, it’s a shaping experience, in fact the main thing I did in my life. When you face challenges, you learn much about yourself”.

After completing the Pilot Training Course, Major General Eshel began his service as a “Skyhawk” pilot and later served as an instructor in the Flight Academy and as commander of “F-16” and “F-4 Phantom” squadrons. Nine years ago, he was nominated to become Head of the Operational Division and later commanded on Ramon and Tel-Nof airbases, served as Head of the Aerial Formation and Head of the IAF Headquarters.

While he served as Commander of Tel-Nof airbase, Major General Eshel led the historical flight over Auschwitz Concentration and Extermination camp.
“It had been a personal dream of mine for 15 years”, said Major General Eshel, a child of holocaust survivors. “It’s the most meaningful expression of the resurrection of these people and nation. As representatives of the IAF, we’re the most tangible expression of the force of this nation and there’s no one better than us to express it”.

In his last role in the IAF, during the Second Lebanon war, Major General Eshel served as Head of the IAF Headquarters. “The IAF is prepared for war on more than one front and at a large scale”, he said at the time to the IAF magazine. “We have very good operational preparation. We’re always prepared for a wide range of challenges and throughout the last war we learned much about ourselves and the enemy, knowledge that will serve us in the future”.

Major General Eshel is married and a father of three. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science.