As the 28th UAV Operators ceremony comes to an end, the new UAV Operators that have joined the IAF will integrate into the many missions the growing division takes part in. “Our UAV Division is leading in a world level, best of them all”
The 28th class of UAV Operator Cadets have received their “Operator Wings” today, after a long and challenging course that took place over the past six months. The new operators will now continue onto their three month operational training and will later officially join the division.
“You are joining a special and significant division in the IAF. Our UAV Division is leading in a world level, best of them all. The division is filled with revolutionary achievements and has a magnificent history in aviation”, said Brig. Gen. Amir Eshel, IAF commander, to the graduating class. “Now, it is your right to protect your home. You are the pretty faces of the young generation of Israel. In blue and green uniforms, women and men, that infuse security and hope for the future”.
“The preservation of the IDF’s advantage against our enemies is based on maintaining the humane resource. The leading power in the UAV Division – is its people”, added Brig.-Gen. Nimrod, Commander of Palmachim AFB. “The UAV aircraft may not be manned, however it is operated by our people. High quality officers that completed a long and advanced training process, are those responsible for the final outcome of every mission”.
ATC Commander and a professional athlete
One graduate, Capt. Roni, stood out, because unlike the rest of the graduates who officially became Officers today, she already has diverse military career. Capt. Roni served as a flight supervisor and a Control Officer in Palmachim AFB, completed her role in the IAF Headquarters and was later assigned to be the Commander of the Control Tower in Sde-Dov AFB.
After completing her position, the option of beginning UAV Operators course became available for her as a reward for being an exceptional officer and she returned to UAV Operators School in Palmachim AFB. “The division is always developing and is in the center of the operational work in the IAF, which made me want to be a part of it”, shared Capt. Roni. “There is no doubt that my service in Palmachim AFB had an effect on my decision. I served in the Control Tower during 2012 Operation “Pillar of Defense” and oversaw aircraft takeoffs from the base. That was when I was exposed to the scope of operational activity the UAV Division conducts during war time”.
Capt. Roni, who has been positioned to serve in a squadron that operates the “Hermes 450” and “Hermes 900”, was rewarded as an exceptional cadet and is the only cadet that didn’t take part in Pilot’s Course. “On the one hand, I had to learn on my own about the aviation world and on the other hand, my service as a Control Tower Commander provided me with command experience and an early acquaintance with the system”.
During her military service, Capt. Roni is also a professional athlete. As a child, she began sailing and partook in world championships and European Championships as a representative of Israel. Before she drafted, she contemplated if she should serve a full service or be a professional athlete. Capt. Roni chose the prior, however continues to sails. “During the UAV Operators Course, I took part in the Israel Championships and soon, during the operational training, I will partake in another tournament”. In addition, she volunteers at the “Challenge” Organization in the sails department and aids people with disabilities through exercise.