Story of the month
On December 25, the 179th graduation of the Israel Air Force Pilots Wing ceremony took place at Hatzerim Air Force Base.
Although all pilot graduations were exciting, emotional and breathtaking, this year there was an added layer of emotion. Savta (grandmother) Ahuva could not contain her tears when her grandson Lieutenant N. became a combat pilot.
It was 1976, 33 years ago, that flight Air France 139 was highjacked and taken to Uganda. Savta Ahuva and her husband were kidnapped and held captive in Entebbe for over a week in what is now known as Operation Entebbe (Mivtza Yonatan) which included over 100 fighters, officers, and air crew. Saba and Savta (grandparents) were forcefully held in Entebbe and were petrified and uncertain whether they would survive this ordeal. All they could pray for was that they survive the passports "selection process," segregating Jews from non-Jews reminding them of what occurred during the Holocaust. They just prayed to be united back with their family in Israel.
When the doors flung open and the Israel Army and Air Force fighters came to rescue all 102 captives, Savta Ahuva did not even dare to dream that one day, 33 years later, her very own grandson will become a combat pilot for the Israel Air Force, able to protect and defend their beloved State of Israel. Savta Ahuva was invited to address all graduating from course 179 and share with them their experience in Entebbe.
"I was beyond proud and overwhelmed to be rescued by the Israel Air Force and Israel Defense Force heroes." said Savta Ahuva. Lieutenant N. was asked if the fact that his grandparents were kidnapped by terrorists influenced his desire to become an air force fighter pilot, he responded, "It surely had an effect on my desire to become a fighter pilot for the Israel Air Force".
We extend a heartfelt
to all the new IAF pilots, and we are honored to be be able to support our beloved air force through our educational programs.
You too can join this one of a kind Israel Air Force Pilot Graduation Ceremony by joining our mission June 23 - July 1, 2020.
We look forward to hosting you this summer in Israel for a trip of a life time.