Ouvda is the successor to Etzion Airbase, which itself was established in 1972 in the Sinai desert and housed the “Golden Eagle” and “Phoenix” Squadrons during the Yom Kippur War. In 1976 a third squadron was established on the base, the “Smashing Parrot” Squadron.
In 1979, following the Israel-Egypt peace accords, on the return of Sinai to Egypt's borders, the squadrons on Etzion were transferred to the Ramon Airbase and the newly built Ouvda Airbase. On 30th March 1982 a ceremony for the closure of Etzion and the opening of Ouvda was held. Less than two months later, Ouvda was declared operational.
In November 1987 the Commander in Chief of the IAF, Lieutenant General (retired) Avihu Ben Nun, restructured the force. In this context all of the flying squadrons went to Hatzor and the school for aviation professionals moved to Ouvda Airbase. Today Ouvda holds a number of bodies and serves as the IAF's teaching and training base.
The IAF Officers' School educates new Air Force Officers in the following subjects: Intelligence, Ground Defence, Information Security, Management and more. The school runs courses in which soldiers are trained as Air Force officers. The school has produced 75% of the IAF's officers.
The School for Aviation Professionals provides professional training and training in the values of the IAF for all of the force's aviation and combat support professionals.
The “Flying Dragon” Squadron. Known in the Air Force as the “Red” Squadron. The squadron plays the role of enemy aircraft in exercises for the rest of the Air Force. The squadron flies all kinds of aircraft and also includes teams which operate imitation enemy ground targets (such as missile launches and radars) and arrange for infantry soldiers to play the role of terrorists in training scenarios.
The base also defends the south of the country throughout the year.
Similarly, the base hosts squadrons training in the Negev Desert. It also holds the advanced training center, which trains aircrew in varied exercises, teaches them the IAF's combat doctrine and how to build operational orders.