From Past to Present09.06.2019 | The IAF Site | Photo editing: Koral Dvir & Celia Garion
The IAF Site looks back upon photos from the history of the air force, which continues to progress while honoring its legacy.
Photographed: the third-generation "Kurnas" (Phantom) two-seat fighter aircraft, manufactured in the United States and integrated into the IAF in 1969. It took part in the War of Attrition just several weeks after its integration, and continued to play an active part during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 1982 First Lebanon War, intercepting over 100 enemy aircraft. Last February, the game-changing "Kurnas" marked its 50th year in service. Pictured alongside the "Kurnas": current game-changer "Adir" (F-35I). It is a fifth-generation stealth fighter, integrated into the 140th ("Golden Eagle") Squadron in 2016, and due to be integrated into an additional "Adir" squadron to be established later in 2019.
Debriefing = Improving
Each IAF squadron has a debriefing room. Before sorties, the aircrew members come there to plan and study their coming flights; after sorties, they come in for an overview – what did they succeed at? What could they have done better? The aircrew members spend hours in the debriefing room throughout their service, with the concept of debriefing rooted deep in the force's culture.
A Gift From Above
Airdropping is one of the Transport Division's main missions. Photographed: the Nord aircraft, manufactured in France and integrated into the IAF in 1956, responsible for transporting personnel and cargo. Nowadays, the force's tactical transport aircraft are those responsible for transportation and airdropping: the "Karnaf" (Hercules C-130), one of the force's oldest aircraft, and the "Shimshon" (Super Hercules C-130J), integrated in 2014. With these aircraft, the IAF is capable of airlifting supplies to troops in enemy territory – the last time this happened was during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Getting Their Wings
The Flight Course graduation. Once every six months, a few dozen new aircrew member celebrate the successful completion of the IAF Flight Course in an exciting ceremony held in Hatzerim AFB, where the IAF Flight Academy is located. While excited friends and family sit in the crowd, the force's aircraft decorate the skies in a celebratory airshow as the graduates receive their coveted insignia after three years of rigorous training. In a few days, Flight Course 178 will come to an end, decades after the first course was held around the beginning of the 1948 War of Independence.
The force's firefighters are regular service members specially trained for assisting the IAF's runways and aircraft. Located in every base, they are on constant ready alert. When a wave of wildfires hit Israel last May, the air force's firefighters assisted in the extinguishing effort.
From Air to Water
One of the force's longest-lasting traditions is pouring a bucket of water on aircrew members when they land from their first solo flight. Solo flights are a significant part of the Flight Course, in which the cadets take off in the "Efroni" (T-6 Texan II) alone for the first time.