Training is the key to the IAFs secret weapon: the quality of its people. Manpower is Israel’s most valuable resource. By investing in its young men and women, the IAF maintains a decisive edge over potential enemies. “Hard in training – easy in battle” is an IAF motto. Flight training is rigorous and simulates the combat arena as closely as possible. The training schedule is planned to make optimum use of Israel’s limited airspace and bombing ranges. Emphasis is placed on utilizing simulators and on squeezing every ounce of training from each precious flight hour. A single F-15 flight hour, for example, costs $15,000.
Formal training is based on three primary elements: IAF training schools, specialized training at military and civilian institutions, and unit-level training.
The IAF training schools include:
- The Flight School at Hatzerim Air Force Base for air crews.
- The Technical School in Haifa for maintenance personnel.
- The Air Defense School in Herzlia for anti-aircraft troops.
- The Aviation Professional School at Ovda Air Force Base for air traffic controllers, intelligence, communications and administrative personnel.
Specialized training at military and civilian institutions includes an IAF college-level facility at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; courses at the IAF Command & Staff School and the IDF Defense College; and courses at universities, with industry, and abroad.
Unit-level training is a continuous process, whereby the individual sharpens his basic skills with formal and informal on-the-job training. Commanders at every level are responsible for the ongoing training program. This ensures the high standard of professionalism required to operate a sophisticated, high-tech air force.