Female Israeli pilot makes Air Force history

Female Israeli pilot makes Air Force history

The Israeli Air Force has for the first time appointed a female pilot to head an Israel Air Force flight squadron, operating surveillance aircraft.

Major G., whose full name was not provided for security reasons, will command the 122nd Squadron, also known as the Nachshon Squadron, which takes part in covert aerial operations, sometimes thousands of miles away from Israel. She will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

“I am happy about the appointment,” Major G. said, in a statement issued by the IDF. “A great privilege alongside a great responsibility. The real work is still ahead. I am proud to serve in the Air Force.”

Major G. is married, has children, and will move her family from its home in central Israel to the Air Force base in Nevatim, southeast of Beersheba, Ynet reported.

In January, the military named the first woman to head an IAF aviation squadron; it is responsible for ground-based operations. Flight squadrons operate aircraft.

She entered the military in 2003 and first trained as a transport plane pilot. From 2015 to 2017, she was the deputy commander of the squadron that she will command. She completed the required command course a month ago and will assume the helm of the squadron in the “coming months,” according to the IDF.

Her appointment comes as the IDF announced that some 1,000 women were inducted into the military to serve in combat units this summer. That’s a record. 

There are 150 more female combat unit recruits than there were in 2017, and nearly double the 547 female combat soldiers who served in the IDF in 2012, the Times of Israel reported, citing IDF figures.

JTA Wire Service

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