History as first female Air Force pilot takes command of flight squadron

Lt.-Col. "G" took command of the IAF's Nachshon Squadron

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September 26, 2019 06:06
2 minute read.
History as first female Air Force pilot takes command of flight squadron

Lt.-Col. "G". (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

The first female to lead an Israel Air Force squadron has taken command of the Nachshon squadron, the military said.
Lt.-Col. G (her entire name is withheld due to security reasons) is commander of the 122 squadron, the IAF’s intelligence unit based out of the Nevatim Airbase in the South.

“Congratulations to our first female commander of an operational squadron in the Air Force – we’ve been waiting for you for 71 years,” IAF Cmdr. Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin said at the ceremony on Tuesday night. “Lt. Col. G, the mother of two boys, you are a role model and an inspiration for thousands of women in the State of Israel.”

Conscripted in 2003, she completed the prestigious pilots course, specializing in flying transport planes, and served in the 131st Squadron and in the 135st squadron.

Lt.-Col. G later served as deputy commander of the Nachshon squadron from 2014-2017, which flies Gulfstream jets with advanced intelligence-gathering equipment out of the Nevatim Air Base. She held the rank of Major.

A senior IAF Officer recently told The Jerusalem Post that a female Israel Air Force squadron commander was not far off.

He explained that the number of women requesting to serve in combat units – including in the air force – has steadily increased since 2000 and that the military is “now seeing the fruits of that.”

“I believe that it is our duty in the Israel Defense Forces to fulfill the inherent potential in women,” Norkin said on Tuesday. “We are still far from this goal, but I am sure that this process will continue and that we will appoint female commanders and soldiers in a wide variety of positions in the air force, and in the IDF in general.”

Last January, Norkin appointed the first woman to command an aviation squadron. Maj. T was promoted to Lt.-Col. to head a squadron of transport planes. Unlike Lt.-Col. G, who is responsible for operating aircraft, Major T is responsible for ground-based operations.

Another woman, Maj. M, was appointed to command the IAF’s operational command and control unit and was also promoted to Lt.-Col. According to the army’s statement, she will be the first female air traffic controller to reach that rank.

In November, a woman was appointed deputy commander of a combat squadron. Captain Y, an officer and F-15 navigator, will serve in the Spearhead Squadron, which flies F-15 fighter jets out of Tel Nof airbase in central Israel. In addition, two other female officers were appointed to serve as deputy commanders of a squadron of UAVs out of Palmahim airbase.


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