Female Israeli pilot makes Air Force history


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A female pilot for the first time has been appointed to head an Israel Air Force flight squadron, operating surveillance aircraft.

Major G, whose first name is not provided due to security concerns, 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 with children and will move her family from their home in Central Israel to the Air Force base in Nevatim, Ynet reported.

Her appointment comes after the military in January named its first woman to head an IAF aviation squadron, which is responsible for ground-based operations. Flight squadrons operate aircraft.

Major G served as deputy commander of the squadron that she will command from 2015 to 2017. 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.

She entered the military in 2003 and first trained as a transport plane pilot.

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

The number represents 150 more female combat unit recruits than 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.

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