The Israel Air Force, established shortly after the state of Israel declared her independence on the 15th of May, 1948, marked the 30th anniversary of its birth with ceremonies in Israel this week.
The Israel Air Force, established shortly after the state of Israel declared her independence on the 15th of May, 1948, marked the 30th anniversary of its birth with ceremonies in Israel this week. The Israelis have relied heavily on the ability to strike an enemy by air, and the fame of the I.A.F. is widespread.
SYNOPSIS: Israel's Air Force day was marked with a ceremony at the Air Force's flight school. These helicopters are towing the flags of Israel, the Air Force, and the Israeli Defence Force. Almost the full range of Israel's air power hardware was on show.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Menachem Begin said that the mission of this new generation of pilots had not changed over the past 30 years. "Their task" he said, "was to guard the skies over Israel, so that the farmers can plough the land, in peace."
Air Force Cadets marched past a reviewing stand carrying military colours. According to Air Force officials the training of personnel is given a high priority in order to stimulate the general morale of the army sector.
The history of the air force was displayed with modern fighter jets taking off and some of the original old bi-planes taxiing along the runway.
At the outbreak of the War of Independence, the Air Service had eleven planes organised into a single squadron.
The Israeli aircraft industry has developed advanced fighter aircraft and continues to do research to improve current designs. Since the beginning of the 1950's Israel has been building an Air Force capable of undertaking both air combat and bombing missions. Imported jets formed the backbone of their forces int eh 1960's -- and the extent of Israeli capability in the air became evident in the 1967 war, when the Egyptian Air Force lost several hundred aircraft on both ground and air. Since then, Israel has increased its own aircraft production to the point of near self-sufficiency.