The graduation ceremony of the IAF Flight Academy took place Thursday at Hatzerim Air Base.
The graduating pilots received their flight wings following completion of a three year course, during which they trained to be pilots and officers, and received an academic degree from Ben Gurion University.
Attending the ceremony was the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, Minister of Defense, Mr. Ehud Barak, Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz and IAF Commander, Major General Amir Eshel, as well as family, guests, friends and IAF personnel.
Now, the new graduates will be deployed to a variety of IAF squadrons and will continue their operational training as pilots, navigators and flight engineers.
IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, congratulated the graduates saying “we are facing a constantly changing and challenging region. These changes demand that we maintain the true advantage of the IDF; the quality of its soldiers.”
IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, also spoke at the ceremony, saying that:
“The Israel Air Force has a wider range of offensive and defensive capabilities. Should the need arise, the IAF can operate with all its force. You, the graduates, who join today this special and united group of pilots, have endured a long path in order to begin a more complex and demanding one. Every day, I am filled with great pride and with the sense of security, which is derived from the soldiers of the IAF, and specifically from their determination and devotion.”