In celebration of the Air Force day, the IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Shkedi sent a festive message to the force:
Commanders, Officers and soldiers of the force, in regular service and in reserve,
The past year marked our continued effort to withstand and cope with various threats: the ongoing war on terror, securing the borders of our country, and preparations for new threats, from close and afar. Our enemy’s planning and actions indicate that the threat to the security of the state of Israel is not a thing of the past. Now more than ever, we must stand on guard and be ready for action. As a fighting body, in charge of the safety of this country, it is our duty and responsibility.
This month, we mark 40 years to the six-day war, a significant milestone in the history of Israel. The contribution of the air force in that war had a decisive impact. That war established the image of our force as one with a relentless drive to victory, one of the world’s best. That generation of fighters has been and still is a source of inspiration to us all.
We shall always remember the fallen, the missing, and the wounded soldiers. We shall embrace the families of those who are not with us here today. We will not forget Ron Arad, who went on a mission by the state if Israel, and has not returned yet.
The air force is looking south for its future. Squadrons are set up and absorbed in the southern air bases. That shift is a significant milestone in the development and the prosperity of the Negev in all aspects of life: education, employment, infrastructure, and transportation. I see a great future for the Israeli south.
Today we celebrate the air force day. To me, it is an opportunity to thank you, the air force family, and all its generations: thank you. I thank you with great appreciation for everything you did and are doing for the force, the army, and the state of Israel.
The Air Force Day is a day of celebration to us all. You deserve to be proud of your work.
Commander of the IAF