Lt. Gen. Michael J. Hood, the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, traveled to Israel and visited IAF AFBs as part of the deepening of the cooperation between the forces. During his visit General Hood witnessed the IAFs activity, with an emphasis on the operation of UAVs and power buildup issues. Exclusive interview

Tal Giladi

Lt. Gen. Michael J. Hood, the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, visited the IAF with the purpose of acquainting himself with the force and tightening the cooperation between the forces and the personal relations between the commanders. “Our two countries are very close, we’re good friends and we both aspire for peaceful relations everywhere”, said General Hood. “Our relationship with Israel is based on mutual trust and friendship. We tend to see most issues very similarly”.

RCAF Commander Visits Israel

General Hood beside General Eshel | Photography: Adi Abu

Knowledge Sharing
During his visit, General Hood visited Tel-Nof AFB and Hazor AFB, was acquainted with the main platforms of each base and met the personnel that operate them. The General visited the “White Eagle” Squadron, which operates the “Eitan” (Heron TP) UAV, the “First Fighter” Squadron, which operated the “Barak” (F-16C/D) and the “Celestial Crows” Aerial Electronic Warfare unit. In addition, General Hood also participated in a simulator sortie in the Mission Training Center in the “Fighter Simulator” Squadron in Hazor AFB and visited an “Iron Dome” Battery.

“Israel uniquely has challenges that in many respects you face alone, whether that’s the Hezbollah or Hamas terror organization”, emphasized General Hood. “The posture of the IAF and the tools it has to protect the security of its country are of great interest and very informative to me. Some of the challenges you face, deal with areas that I think would be very useful and informing of my vision of the Air Force in the coming decade”.

What does the future have in store for Israeli-Canadian Cooperation? According to General Hood, it is based on purchases, mutual training and knowledge sharing. “Creating opportunities for mutual training is very important to us. We have a lot to learn from one another and General Eshel and I have discussed future delegations and joint training as in 2008, when Israeli F-16s participated in the Canadian ‘Maple Flag’ Training Exercise”. The differences between the two countries are also a fertile ground for mutual learning and development in the field of operation of aerial force and aerial combat. “The unique nature of your geo-strategic reality and your size is interesting to us. I’m extremely impressed with the IAF and with your fantastic capabilities”.

RCAF Commander Visits Israel

“Creating opportunities for mutual training is very important to us” | Photography: Tel-Nof AFB PR

Friends of Israel
The Royal Canadian Air Force is one of three commands which together consist of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is responsible for all Canadian Armed Forces aerial operations, for the protection of the Canadian airspace and for aerial support of naval and ground activity. The RCAF’s main fighter platform is the CF-18 “Hornet” fighter jet. The Hercules tactical transport aircraft is the only aircraft operated by both forces and RCAF personnel participated as observers in 2015 “Blue-Flag”, the IAF’s Joint International Exercise.

“Canada is one of Israel’s greatest friends and holds great power in the Middle East as a result of being a part of the peacekeeping forces”, clarified Col. Adam Zussman, IDF and Defense Ministry attaché to Canada. “The Canadian Government and Armed Forces aspire to be active around the world in various global issued and they operate their force for the purpose of self-defense when needed but mostly through participation in coalitions, such as the coalition against the Islamic State Organization (IS)”. 

RCAF Commander Visits Israel

“Our relationship with Israel is based on mutual trust and friendship” | Photography: Adi Abu