The graduation ceremony of the IAF Flight Academy took place today in the Hatzerim IAF Base. The pilots received their flight wings following completion of a three year course, during which they trained to be pilots and officers, as well as receiving an academic degree from Ben Gurion University. Attending the ceremony were Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, Chief of the General Staff, and Major General Ido Nehushtan, IAF Commander, joining family, guests, friends and IAF personnel.
As of next week, the new graduates will be stationed at different 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 “Spread your wings, embark on your mission, keep your eyes on the goal and achieve it!” He added that “We stand between dealing with terror organizations who attempt to raise their heads, and Iran who is advancing towards nuclear capabilities. We must develop offensive countermeasures and aim higher and farther to reach wherever our enemies operate against us.”
IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan also spoke at the ceremony and stated “The unique social background of the graduates reflects the special and beautiful melting pot of Israel, 2012: Children of cities, towns and kibbutzim; those of a religious and secular background; born in Israel and Olim; children of IAF pilots and for the first time, five female graduates. Women’s service in the IAF, in every profession, is a natural thing and we are proud of it.
The IAF is proud of you, has faith in you and is confident in your abilities. Conquer the skies and return safely.”