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Flight Course 175 Receive Their Wings Release date 27.12.2017
Today (Wednesday), the graduates of Flight Course 175 stood on the parade ground in Hatzerim AFB and received their flight wings, completing a grueling three year journey in which they transformed into IAF aircrew members
Illy Pe’ery

36 excited graduates stand on the parade ground. The Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Chief of General Staff and Commander of the IAF watch them with pride. The audience: friends, family, and loved ones in the thousands. The officer ranks they received only yesterday on their shoulders, their new blue uniforms neatly ironed and most importantly, their coveted flight wings – secured proudly to their chest. They are now IAF aircrew members.


Photography: Koral Dvir

"Graduates, today you join the strike force responsible for protection of our country", said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "It is a large national responsibility, and it's your watch. Today, the IAF is at the height of its capability, with the best platforms, technology, aircraft and pilots in the world". 


Photography: Koral Dvir

Israel's Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, stated: "You underwent a three year-long journey that molded your character and trained you for the complex missions you are responsible for. We trust you to protect us from above".

Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, IDF Chief of General Staff, said in the ceremony: “Graduates, you have completed the most complex and prestigious course in the IDF – a course you entered as cadets determined to contribute to their country, and that you complete as pilots responsible for national missions. Almost seven decades have passed since the first flight wings were received, late in the War of Independence. While the country was threatened, the first of our pilots were trained on foreign soil and did everything to guarantee that when the day comes they will be Israel’s aerial protectors. We remember the determination and courage of our first pilots, while also looking to you and trusting you to guarantee the safety of the state of Israel in the years to come”.


Photography: Koral Dvir

35 Years Since the Operation that Taught a Lesson in Air Supremacy
The 175th Flight Course Graduation Ceremony will be held in honor of the 35th anniversary of Operation “Mole Cricket 19”, in which the IAF destroyed the entirety of the Syrian Military’s SAM (Surface Air Missile) division in Lebanon without sustaining any casualties or losses.

“35 years have passed, and in this ceremony we look back to the war that ended with 80 downed enemy aircraft”, began IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin. “The Israeli air supremacy, which is a condition and a key to any military action, has become the fountainhead of Israeli deterrence. You who stand before me, graduates of Flight Course 175, will soon wear your flight wings and join the ranks of those who carry the right to protect Israel and its people on their shoulders”. 


Photography: Koral Dvir

After they threw their officer hats to the sky, the ceremonial aerial demonstration began. A pair of “Baz” (F-15) fighter jets demonstrated a low altitude dogfight (aerial battle), transport helicopters demonstrated combatant transportation, and attack helicopters demonstrated attacking ground targets. The “Lavi” (M-346) trainer aircraft, which serves the cadets of the fighter division and the “Tzofit” (Beechcraft King Air B200) which serves the cadets of the transport division – also participated. And for the grand finale – the “Adir’ (F-35I) surprised the emotional audience, and the IAF Aerobatic Team performed complex formation maneuvers in the “Efroni” (T-6 Texan II).