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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Air Force’

Israel Issues Routine ‘No Comment’ On Bombing of Missiles in Syria

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Israeli spokesman said “no comment” on reports from Lebanon that the Israeli Air Force bombed Syrian missiles destined for Hezbollah.

Explosions were reported in the Syrian port city of Latakia, which previously has been targeted and presumably by Israel to prevent “game-changing” weapons from being smuggled into Lebaon for Hezbollah.

Several Lebanese new sources as well as the Lebanese army reported that Israeli planes entered Lebanese airspace at low altitudes and remained in the air for more than one hour.

Israeli Planes Fly over Southern Lebanon after Murder of Soldier

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Lebanese media reported that Israeli warplanes carried out surveillance flights over southern Lebanon in Tuesday, as Lebanese, United Nations and Israeli officials try to keep the lid on tensions following Sunday night’s murder of Israel soldier Sgt. Shlomi Cohen by a Lebanese soldier.

The Air Force frequently sends planes into Lebanese air space to monitor Hezbollah terrorist activities.

Lebanese media also reported that its army will prosecute the soldier who “acted on his own” when he opened fire on Sgt. Cohen and killed him.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati described it as “an isolated incident of limited scope,” but a similar “isolated incident” occurred three years ago when Lebanese soldiers shot and killed an Israeli officer and wounded a soldier.

 

U.S. Air Force Chief Completes Secret Visit to Israel

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Gen. Mark Welsh, the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, has completed a secret visit to Israel, where was the guest of the Commander of the Israel Air Force, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel.

Welsh met with senior officers and defense personnel, including Chief of the General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Benjamin Gantz, and was hosted at air force bases throughout the country.

The officials discussed a number of topics including mutual security challenges in light of the regional security situation. Welsh and Eshel also discussed plans to further strengthen the cooperation between the U.S. Air Force and the Israel Air Force, according to the IDF.

The meeting, which reportedly was kept secret at the request of the United States, comes in advance of a scheduled visit by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is set to arrive on Monday, as a guest of Gantz.

New Jersey Yeshiva Student Now an Israeli Fighter Pilot

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Notice to readers: Israeli Air Force security severely restricts private information on pilots, whose identity could be exploited by enemies. Lt. B says that many readers who know him will understand from this article that he is the subject. Both Lt. B. and the IDF request that all readers will respect Israel’s need for strict security and will not use the Internet for any communication concerning Lt. B.

 

“Lt. B.” of New Jersey has become one of a few but growing number of religious Jews to pilot Israel’s fighter jets, and he is one of a tiny number of American religious immigrants to do so.

“I had a childhood dream to be a pilot,” says Lt. B., whose name and home town cannot be revealed for security reasons.

In a special interview with the Jewish Press that was arranged through IDF spokesmen under security supervision, he spoke about his unintended venture into the Israeli Air Force. Lt. B. spoke with the Jewish Press on the Fourth of July and said, “Independence Day was a holiday for me when I was in America, but Yom Ha’Atzamaut now is my Independence Day.”

He graduated from a religious high school in New Jersey, and with the support of his father and Israeli-born mother, Lt. B. packed up his bags at the age of 17 for the common “spend a year in Israel” idea before planning to go back to the United States to attend university.

Lt. B. chose a Golan Heights “mechina,” the Hebrew word for a pre-army Torah learning academy, even though he had no intention of serving in the IDF.

He already had made some applications to universities when he was learning in Israel. He was not keen on going into the army until his experience at the mechina “brought out my love for Israel and ambition to do something more special than regular university studies,” the new pilot relates.

Lt. B.rejected the idea of joining the “Machal” program for foreign youth who want to serve for a couple of years before going back home. “I decided to join the army but not to make aliyah,” keeping his eye on university, he admits.

Once he went through the induction tests, the army saw that he was fit both physically and mentally to be a candidate for the Air Force program, in which only one percent of the candidates for pilots’ course eventually end up with their wings.

“I always had a dream about being a pilot,” relates Lt. B. “The Air Force liked my test results. That is when I decided to make aliyah. I told myself, ‘I have a dream and will try to fulfill  it.’ I was 18 and fit. If it had not worked out, I probably would have served 2-3 years and gone back to the States.”

But it did work out.

Lt. B. had a bit of family history to fall back on. “My mother served in the Air Force for five years,” he reveals. “I was not expecting to finish the course because it is difficult, but I did not look that far ahead. You don’t even know what is happening next week.

“My agenda was to take every day and every hour at a time and give 110 percent, finishing the day and knowing that I did what I could, and no less.”

At the age of 22 – yes, girls, he still is single –  Lt. B. was one of several pilots to get their wings last month. His parents were there for the ceremony but did not arrive from the United States. They already had followed Lt. B. to Israel, making aliyah with all of their children and now living in “central Israel,” which is the most specific location that can be published.

The intense pilots’ program is three years, including three semesters of nine courses leading to a Bachelors of Science degree.

Lt. B. is obligated to serve in the Air Force for another nine years.

In training, he flew a Skyhawk fighter jet and his daily routine, after morning prayers and breakfast, is to hop into his plane and fly – every day, except for Shabbat

Lt. B. says that approximately 3-5 percent of Israeli pilots are religious, a sharp increase when compared with 30  years ago when a religious Air Force pilot was a  rarity.

Reports of Israeli Attack on Syrian Chemical Weapons Site

Monday, April 29th, 2013

According to reports from the main Syrian opposition group, the Free Syria Army, the Israeli Air Force bombed a chemical weapons site in Syria, near Damascus, on Saturday, April 27.

The Israeli jets flew over Syrian President Basher Assad’s palace, as reported elsewhere, and then allegedly struck a chemical weapons compound nearby.

Although there were reports that Syrian defense forces fired at the IAF, the Israeli jets left Syrian airspace unharmed.

Last week the Israeli military published intelligence findings that President Bashar Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons repeatedly in recent months. The U.S. was initially reluctant to embrace those findings, and even after admitting that Syria had used chemical weapons “on a small scale,” has remained reluctant to take immediate action.

A second report emanating from Syria potentially supported the claims that Israel struck the chemical weapons site, although this report did not mention Israel’s purported role.

This report from Lebanon’s Daily Star discussed heavy fighting near the “Scientific Studies and Research Centre on the foothills of Qasioun Mountain in the northern Barzeh district,” which, according to American defense experts, is a way Syrians are likely to refer to the chemical weapons site.

A retired U.S. naval intelligence officer, J.E. Dyer, believes it is possible Israel engaged in the strike.  For one thing, as noted in the Daily Star report – Assad’s forces are engaged in an all-out effort to retake the area around the SSRC compound from the rebels. Given the fighting in the area, the danger increases that the chemical weapons inventory would fall into rebel hands, “including Islamist jihadists, including Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda.”

But Dyer had several caveats.  First, she said, taking down the SSRC would be a big job, likely requiring sequential strikes. “There’s a lot of industrial square footage to thump; the IAF would want to put more than a couple of strike fighters over the target.”

And Dyer doesn’t imagine Israel would take the risk of entering Syrian airspace and fail to complete a specific job.  “Either you go in to take it out for the duration of the civil war, or you don’t hit it at all,” is how she put it.

Therefore it is possible the IAF attacked something else near the SSRC on Saturday. Perhaps there was a discrete reachable target that presented itself and Israel took the opportunity to reduce the dangerous materials so close to her own border.  This could have been an attack like the one in late January when Israel struck a truck convoy near Damascus which was moving sophisticated  Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel in Discussions to Stationing Israeli Air Force Jets on Cyprus

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plans to discuss the prospect of stationing Israeli Air Force jets on Cyprus when he visits the island later this month, according to a report by the Chinese news agency Xinua.

According to the report, an Israeli official told Xinua that the discussion “is at the exploratory stage – it’s not clear if it will or won’t happen.”

Relations between Cyprus and Israel have been intensifying since Israel’s fallout with its former regional ally and Cyprus’ adversary, Turkey. In January, Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with his Cypriot counterpart to enter into and sign defense agreements.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-in-discussions-to-stationing-israeli-air-force-jets-on-cyprus/2012/02/07/

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