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Meet the Technicians Release date 11.01.2018
The IAF's technicians are trusted with routine maintenance of every aircraft in the force. The IAF Site experienced them in action
Tal Ben Naeh & Nadav Shacham | Photography: Koral Dvir

Before every takeoff and after every landing, IAF technicians work on the aircraft and prepare it for the next sortie, taking care of every little detail in order to ensure the aircrew members' safety. They are a part of the Technical Division, which spreads across every squadron in the IAF, and are responsible for routine maintenance of the squadrons' aircraft. Alongside the aircrew members, they comprise the squadron's operational routine.

 

Something Big
"The squadron’s technical department is responsible for the aircraft's maintenance for each and every sortie at any given time", said Maj. Itzik Dahan, the technical officer at the "First Jet" Squadron at Ramat-David AFB, which operates "Barak" (F-16B/C) aircraft. "Each aircraft is our responsibility, and no sorties are possible without the technical department’s preliminary preparations. The technicians arm the aircraft and ensure the propriety of its systems, with the pre-sortie preparations taking up to hours at a time. The aircraft are located in the HAS (Hardened Aircraft Shelter), which is where we're situated during routine. When on ready-alert, some technicians sleep in their uniforms so they can be prepared for action as soon as they're alerted. Ramat-David is the IAF's northernmost airbase, which means that we are trusted with security of the northern theatre. We maintain a high alert state in order to prepare the aircraft for the next sortie as quickly as possible".

"Even when you've barely slept after working on the aircraft through the night, as soon as you realize that you're a part of something big, you get a special feeling. We know that the IAF's success is on our shoulders", said Corporal Sahar Malka, a technician at the "First Jet" Squadron.

Many technicians from Ramat-David AFB previously studied at the Amal High School, which is located beside the airbase. The students gain experience in mechanics, working in Hardened Aircraft Shelters while still in high-school.

Hard Work Pays Off
The IAF's technicians undergo a two-month training period at the Technical School, after which they're dispersed across their respective squadrons. The technicians are able to follow several different courses, whether as aircraft mechanics or as munitioneers. "Every day, we feel that our hard work pays off", concluded Corporal Malka. "I know that the aircrew took off, performed its mission successfully and landed safely all thanks to our work".