Squadrons

The Knights of the Twin Tail Squadron

On April 1, 1976, The "Knights of the Twin Tail" Squadron was established. Its first commander was Lieutenant Col. Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, who eventually became the IAF commander. Its establishment was the outcome of two years of preparation in the IAF Headquarters in anticipation of the F-15 "Eagle".
On December 10, 1976 the first three F-15s landed in Tel-Nof Airbase. For a year, the squadron operated only four planes and only on December 15, 1977 the new fighter jets arrived.

First Operational Activities
On June 27, 1979 the squadron executed its first enemy plane downing. On the same day, IAF aircraft took off to attack terrorist targets in Lebanon, in order to lure Syrian aircraft to the area and intercept them.
Around noon, four F-4 "Phantoms" from The "Knights of the Orange Tail" Squadron attacked in Damour city. During the attack, the Syrian Air Force launched four formations of improved MiG-21s and directed them towards the Israeli fighter jets.
A formation of four of the squadron's F-15 Eagles that were on interception patrol at 15,000 feet, were directed towards the encounter. In the mass "Dogfight" that occurred, the F-15s downed four MiGs.

On September 29, 1979, while returning from a sortie on a winter night, the late Major Guy Golan's jet crashed and he was killed in the accident.

On June 17, 1981, the squadron took part in Operation "Opera" in which the Iraqi nuclear reactor was destroyed. A year later, during the "First Lebanon War", the squadron downed 33 Syrian aircraft.

The Farthest Sortie
On October 1, 1985, two aircraft from the squadron, with six other aircraft from the "Edge of the Spear" Squadron attacked the PLO Headquarters in Hammam-Al-Shatt, Tunis.
Operation "Wooden Leg" was the farthest attack sortie in IAF history, 1,500 miles away from Israel. During the attack a number of buildings were destroyed, dozens of terrorists were killed and about 60 were injured.

On August 15, 1988, during "Dogfight" training, two F-15's from the squadron collided. The squadron's Commander Lieutenant Col. Ram Koler and Major Ehud Falk were killed in the crash.

New Qualifications
During 1983, the squadron began vertical photography qualifications. Thereafter, the squadron acquired additional qualifications and in Operation "Cast Lead" over Gaza strip it took part for the first time in a "Smart bombs" attack, a qualification that positions it at the same level as the most advanced combat squadrons in the IAF. The numerous qualifications that the squadron added served it also in Operation "Pillar of Defence" in November 2012, when the squadron executed sorties in the Gaza Strip.

Today, the aircraft are undergoing an improvement process, in order to keep them active until 2025. The focus of the improvement is in maintenance and includes changes for preservation of existing abilities and optimizing safety.