After four years in command of the IAF’s Technical Division, Brig. Gen. Ran Bashvitz has completed his service and Brig. Gen. Shimon Tsentsiper has assumed command of the IAF’s Material Directorate

Nadav Shacham

Passing the baton: after 26 years of service in the IAF, four of which as commander of the IAF’s Material Directorate, Brig. Gen. Ran Bashvitz has completed his service and has been replaced by Brig. Gen. Shimon Tsentsiper, who assumed the command of the Material Directorate. “The IAF is one of the pillars of Israel’s existence. The technical division allows the IAF to express its strength, in attack and defense and prepare for the future,” said Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, IAF Commander during the Material Directorate change of command ceremony.

As Head of the Material Directorate, Brig. Gen. Ran Bashvitz lead the technical division in 2014 Operation “Protective Edge”, dictated the maintenance concepts for the various platforms integrated in the IAF, headed by the fifth generation stealth fighter, “Adir” (F-35I). “If you would have asked me what the main feeling I felt over the past four years was, the answer would be responsibility. Responsibility for safety, for quality of performance, for availability, for preparedness. I shared this responsibility with the 15,000 members of the technical division. They are the ones worthy of gratitude and if I could, I would choose to conclude my service by thanking each and every one of them personally.”

New Commander of the Material Directorate

Photography: Mor Tzidon

His Turn
Brig. Gen. Shimon Tsentsiper, who has assumed command of the Material Directorate, previously served as Head of the Munition and Aerial Defense Department in the Material Directorate. “I resume the command of the IAF’s Material Directorate and Technical Division today with a great feeling of pride and responsibility. I will do all I can in order to continue nurturing and marching it towards the challenges we face. I thoroughly understand the magnitude of my responsibility,” he stated in his speech.
“You are highly experienced successful in the field and in HQ. Today, you will be entrusted with the world’s best technical division. I trust in your ability to lead, create and change, in order for the IAF to fulfill its duty, perform its missions and meet its national expectations”, said Maj. Gen. Eshel.

Similarly to Brig. Gen. Bashvitz, Brig. Gen. Tsnentsiper also emphasized the importance of ground crews in the IAF’s missions. “The members of the technical division, after years of service in the field and in HQ, I met you. Soldiers, NCOs, civilians and officers – the human force that keeps the IAF in the air. In the coming years we will advance the division toward the technological frontier and adjust it to the fifth generation.”

New Commander of the Material Directorate

Photography: Mor Tzidon

26 Years of Maintenance
Brig. Gen. Bashvitz began his military service as a young officer in Sde-Dov AFB’s avionics department, on his way to the command of the Technical Division he also commanded the IAF’s Aerial Maintenance Unit and Material Directorate’s Aircraft Department. “I trusted you with the most complex issues and you lived up to my expectations – big time. The IAF is prepared, fit and safe thanks to your leadership”, the IAF Commander commended Brig. Gen. Bashvitz in the ceremony.

“It’s difficult to summarize this position. On one hand you’re busy with long range strategic decision making and on the other hand routine activity here and now,” said Brig. Gen. Bashevitz in an interview to the IAF Magazine. “Whenever a ‘Yas’ur’ (CH-53) passes over my home, I ask myself when it was inspected last and every time I see a fighter jet take off, I think who the technician that signed off on its ‘preflight’ was.”

New Commander of the Material Directorate

Photography: Mor Tzidon

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