Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin was appointed IAF Commander Today (Thursday) in the presence of the Defense Minister and Chief of General Staff. Maj. Gen. Norkin, who served as Head of the Planning Directorate, will replace Maj. Gen. Eshel, who commanded the IAF for five years
Today (Thursday) Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin was officially appointed IAF Commander in a ceremony held in the Chief of General Staff’s office situated in IDF HQ. The ceremony was held in the presence of Avigdor Lieberman, the Defense Minister of Israel, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the Chief of General Staff and the members of the General Staff Forum.
Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, who previously served as Head of the IDF Planning Directorate, will replace Maj. Gen. Eshel, who commanded the IAF during the past five years and will retire from the IDF after 40 years of military service.
Maj. Gen. Norkin | Photography: Ruby Castro
“Amir, thank you for 40 years of significant contribution to the security of the state of Israel” said Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister of Israel. “You years as IAF commander were very significant and fruitful in a very complex period. Norkin, you are assuming command and will immediately begin dealing with many challenges. You will need to continue making the long arm a much longer one”.
“Amir influenced the IAF, the general staff and the entire IDF with his courageous and creative views and actions”, added Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, IDF Chief of Staff. “Norkin, you served in every central position the IAF can offer to its most exceptional commanders. This appointment seems like the natural course of action after excelling throughout all your years of service”, he concluded.
Lt. Gen. Eizenkot & Maj. Gen. Eshel | Photography: IDF Spokesperson
“We have unprecedented capabilities in our hands, and they are, in my opinion, the foundations of a change in Israel’s security strategy”, said Maj. Gen. Eshel. “These capabilities exist thanks to my predecessors, who built the IAF’s power, and thanks to all IAF personnel, who together form a professional, devoted and humble force. We experienced a serious accident this week, our hearts are with the Zohar family that lost Dudi who was an outstanding pilot, combatant and person. We wish for Lt. A’s recovery. Amikam, we know each other well, I trust you, and I have no doubt that you will succeed”.
Maj. Gen. Norkin & Maj. Gen. Eshel | Photography: IDF Spokesperson
Brave Pilot and Aerial Leader
Maj. Gen. Eshel was born in 1959 and drafted into the IAF Flight Academy in 1977. Throughout his service in the IAF, Maj. Gen. Eshel held various positions such as Commander of the “Knights of the North” Squadron from Ramat-David AFB and the “One” Squadron, which operated the F-4 Phantom from Tel-Nof AFB. He also served as head of the IAF’s operations department, Commanded Tel-Nof and Ramon AFB and Headed the IAF’s Air Division, Air Staff and the IDF’s Planning Directorate. Maj. Gen. Norkin said: “Amir is a brave pilot and aerial leader, under his command the IAF expanded its range of capabilities, in attack and defense, in the air and on the ground. On one wing lethal capabilities developed and on the other strategic relations with far and near air forces were built”.
Maj. Gen. Eshel | Photography: Celia Garion
Maj. Gen. Norkin: “Aware of the extent of the challenge ahead”
Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin was born in 1966 and drafted into the IAF Flight Academy in 1985. He commanded the “Knights of the Twin Tail” Squadron, which operates the “Baz” (F-15) from Tel-Nof AFB and the “Negev” Squadron when it was established as the first “Sufa” (F-16I) squadron in the IAF. Maj. Gen. Norkin also served as head of the IAF Operations Department and Air Division, IAF Chief of Staff and Head of the IDF Planning Directorate. “I am aware of the extent of the challenge ahead. In the coming years, the IAF will integrate many capabilities that will widen its range of responsibilities and tighten its cooperation with the IDF’s branches and departments – in power buildup and operation”, he added.