NEW YORK (Jan. 27)
The Israeli Air Force is the subject of a television documentary on N.B.C.’s “First Tuesday” series Feb. 3. Producer Bob Rogers saw the IAF in action during the Six Day War, and spent a month in Israel with a film crew, determined to find out “what made these guys so good.” Rogers found that “probably the underlying factor that lets everything else happen is a sense of unity and determination. Building on that, which is common to most Israelis, as far as I can tell, and certainly common to the Armed Forces, the IAF has managed to turn its very limited means into a superb fighting force.”
The program marks the first time a non-Israeli journalist has been allowed to film a jet squad exercise in the air. The exact size of the IAF and the graduating class at the Israeli Flight School, are closely guarded secrets, according to Mr. Rogers, but both are small, emphasizing “quality over quantity.””Many experts,” he said, “including some in the Pentagon, believe that the IAF is, pound for pound, the best combat air force in the world.” He classified the aircraft as a “grab-bag of international equipment.” some of it older than the pilots who fly it.