Israel's first female F-35 pilot made deputy commander of 116th squadron

Prior to flying F-35s, Capt. S. flew F-16s, and soon began flying the advanced stealth fighter jet for the 116th, based out of Nevatim in the South.

Capt. S., face concealed for security reasons, has been appointed the deputy commander of the 116th 'Southern Lion' squadron of F-35 fighter jets. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Capt. S., face concealed for security reasons, has been appointed the deputy commander of the 116th 'Southern Lion' squadron of F-35 fighter jets.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Captain S., the only female pilot in Israel to fly one of the F-35 fighter jets, has been appointed as deputy commander of the IAF's 116th "Southern Lions" F-35 squadron, Israel's second F-35 squadron, the IDF said in a statement.
The 26-year-old Capt. S., whose name and face have been classified, graduated from the pilot's course in 2016, and flew F-16s during her time with the 107th "Knights of the Orange Tail" squadron.
Prior to flying F-35s,  flew F-16s, and soon began flying the advanced stealth fighter jet for the 116th, based out of Nevatim in the South.
While there are several female F-35 pilots in the United States Air Force, it is believed that Capt. S is only the second woman to fly the advanced fifth-generation stealth fighter jet in combat, and is certainly the first woman in Israel to do so.
While the US was the first to fly the fighter jet, and whose Air Force Capt. Emily “Banzai” Thompson was the first to fly it in combat, Israel was the first to use the jet in combat at all. This took place in 2018, just months after  it declared operational capability and, according to foreign reports, continues to use the jet for a range of missions.
By November, the IAF will have 27 F-35i Adir aircraft out of a total of 50 planes set to land in the coming years, to make two full squadrons by 2024. The IAF announced in August that as part of changes to make the force more efficient and better able to contend with regional threats, a third F-35i Adir squadron will open next year.