Graduates of the Israel Air Force’s Flight Course 172 received their wings on Thursday during a ceremony at the IAF’s Hatzerim Base in the South. The ceremony was attended by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin.“The varied capabilities and large operational experience of our pilots as well as the crews on the ground lead air forces from around the world to cooperate with us,” Netanyahu said. “They know that Israel is a main power in the Middle East, and so they choose to train here and share important professional knowledge with us. The IAF is stronger than ever. We equip it with the finest of weapons and technology, as well as the finest people Israel produces. In the crowded skies of the Middle East, characterized with high friction, the IAF demonstrates in power in defense and in offense, in deterrence and in cleverness.”Liberman said that the IAF was the best air force in the world. “Standing before you now, I see some of the finest commanders of the coming decade,” he said. “I see the best defensive force in the world, which is part of the strongest military in the Middle East. Israel faces various challenges and threats, both in the south and in the north. “The security of the citizens both in the south and in the north, as well as every citizen in Israel, is at the top of our priorities,” he added.