Squadrons

The "Magic Touch" Squadron

The "Magic Touch" Squadron was established in 1980 in the Palmachim Airbase. It was opened as the second combat helicopter squadron in the IAF and operated the "Defender" (Lahatut in Hebrew) combat helicopters.

The squadron had a central role in the 1982 "First Lebanon War" and took part in many sorties, attacks and infantry assistance missions. In the years following the war, the squadron was involved in intensive activity in Lebanon, in routine security measures and operations such as Operation "Accountability" in which the IAF attacked Hezbollah assets and terrorists in southern Lebanon.

Reopening as an Apache Squadron
In 1994, the IAF's "Defender" Helicopter Formation was decommissioned. Following its decommission, the "Magic Touch" Squadron was closed. In March of 1995, the squadron returned to the southern Ramon Airbase, where it was reopened as an "Apache" (Peten in Hebrew) combat helicopter squadron. Following its reopening, the squadron took part in Operation "Grapes of Wrath" in southern Lebanon in 1996. Two years later, as part of Operation "Red Riding Hood" in Lebanon, the squadron executed its first targeted attack mission.

From 2000 until 2006, the squadron was mainly involved with routine security missions, while the combat helicopter formation mainly operated alongside infantry forces in operations and missions. In these years, the squadron was credited with hundreds of operational infantry assistance sorties in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It also took part in the 2006 "Second Lebanon War" and Operations "Cast Iron" and "Pillar of Defense".

Today, the squadron's main activities are cooperation with infantry forces, defense of Israeli airspace, routine security missions and attacks.