Gantz, IDF chief Kohavi talk to squadron of helicopter crash

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi reaffirmed the IDF's intention to "thoroughly investigate the incident."

 Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks to soldiers and officers of the 193rd Squadron (photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks to soldiers and officers of the 193rd Squadron
(photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and Defense Minister Benny Gantz held an open forum on Tuesday with Israeli Air Force (IAF) soldiers and officers from the 193rd Squadron.

The open forum comes a week after the squadron's deadly helicopter crash that killed Lt.-Col. Erez Sachaini and Maj. Hen Fogel off the coast of Haifa.

"I was here a week before the crash and now I am back due to a deep understanding of vital Erez and Hen were to the activity of the squadron, which is a tightly knit group of very special people," Gantz said.

"As someone who has lost many soldiers during battles, as well as relatives over the years, I have learned that two things accompany you - the pain and the legacy of the fallen."

"I trust you will return to operational activity after the investigation into the incident is completed and lessons are learned," the defense minister said.

 From left: 38-year-old Lt.-Col Erez Sachaini and 27-year-old Major Hen Fogel, the two soldiers killed in the helicopter crash on January 3, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) From left: 38-year-old Lt.-Col Erez Sachaini and 27-year-old Major Hen Fogel, the two soldiers killed in the helicopter crash on January 3, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Kohavi reaffirmed the IDF's intention to "thoroughly investigate the incident."

"I wish to strengthen you, officers and soldiers of the squadron, and the families of the fallen," the IDF chief of staff added.