Military Aviation > Air Forces

Israel's IAF- A Look From Inside

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My name is David and i'm writing to you from the Middle East - ISRAEL.
I was born in Lithuania and came here at age of 9 (migrated to an historical homeland).
Since 9th grade I was learning in the Israeli Air Force Technical College, where i got the virus of aviation:)
after finishing 12th grade i joined the IAF where served for 4 years as a electricianelectronics technician on the A-4 Skyhawk aircrafts.
was released from the army at 01.06.2005 at the rank of Fst Seargeant in my last duty was in charge of line of 8 planes.
have lots to share lots of interesting things to tell searching for aviation fans from all over the world to get in touch with to tell about the IAF, about the aircrafts, basically about every aspect of military aviation,
i was serving in the 102th squadron that belonged to a Academy of Flight
saw lots of insteresting things were in lots of interesting occasions

expecting and looking forward that the subject i suggested will get you interested
waiting for your answers and questions

F-111 C/C:
Welcome David! Great to have you here. I, too, am a former aircraft technician (USAF) and look foward to hearing your experiences with the IAF and the Skyhawks. I'm sure you are proud of the IAF as they have a well deserved reputation worldwide of being an outstanding force.

Welcome David
Very glad to have you aboard.

good evening all and thanks for the warm words. i still can't think anything that is organized in chronological pace of time because I came up with the idea few hours ago and still have lots of unorganised stuff in my head. Ill try to tell things about myself but i really expect that the people of this forum will find an interest in the things that i have to say and things I have to share.
so.. Skyhawks and Me, Me and Skyhawks...after 4 years of  very active service I began to loose the differents between the two things. Felt myself uniting with this amazing bird, treating each one of them as if it was my child, knowing the troubles, the weaknesses of each machine. There were times that I was advising the pilots what machine they should take for the type of mission they needed. After uniting with 116th squadron (Red Dragon) the 102th squadron (Flying Tigers) became the largest -and one of the oldest- squadrons in IAF. We had 67 planes, about 55 one seated and the rest doube seated A-4TJ.
After learning in the Air Force Technical College, I finished with specialization of Electrician and Electronics tech. 2 weeks after finishing the school i found myself in the bootcamp and month later- on a A-4 main course styding. As i studied trough the systems Ive paid attention that this aircraft is very old styled and does not have the human engineering that have the aircrafts of our days. Looking back on all those years i tend to think that Skyhawks almost didn't have any mechanical problems, because mainy electricians were working on the planes while the work in mechanical units was slow  and less in size than ours.
First tryout after finishing the course with excellence was harsh- i found myself in aircraft garage with unknown things that never were told in the sudies with different meaning with different treatement between ranks not like in the bootcamp. i felt that i came into a family. a Great family of the Airforce. Why do i say- because in Hebrew the words "family" and the abbreviation of " air force family" it's basically the same word?, sound the same. the time passed by and after service of 8 months in the basis Nevatim our squadrons (116 and 102) were united into one 102 and all the technicians and all the planes were moved to the Hatzerim AFB, about 10 minutes of driving from the city i live in. too all the "elders" all the senior officers and technicians that was a shock indeed -after serving many decades in Nevatim they suddenly find themselves in the middle of new unknown base that is larger about 4-8 times that their homebase. in Nevatim we had about 500 ppl in the base while in hatzerim there are about 3300 because it includes the Academy of flight and different squadrons: helicopters, the squadrons of the Flight Academy and the Anti Aircraft inflantry School.but easily we combined ourself with the routine of the service. most of the time after the flight were finished i was going home- it was 10-25 minutes away from the base,BUT as i gor the rank of seargeant and became in charge of a 1 stand (1 aircraft) in the maintenanse shope my walks to home were in much less numbers.i had 3 soldiers under my commandment 3 of them were electricians and we were solving problems of PM's (perventive maintenance) and all different malfunctions in all the stages- while dissasembling the machine and dismounting ofthe engine and all the test and checks untill the bird is closed painted and ready to fly. after about a year in that duty i became in charge of a line back down in the squadron of 8 aircrafts. was in charge of everything- getting them fueled, had weapons men under me who were equipping the planes with the right weapons by the order that came from the HQ.i was in charge of electrician and the electronic pane of the aircraft.there were moments that the aircrafts were real pain in the ass but most of the time i really enjoyed and had a great time, spending sometimes more than 24 hrs under the wings of the stallions.  When i look backward for all these years i understand that they were not for free. Most of the people here in israel thinks that army is just a waste of time. for me the 3 years of service + 1 years of a contracted service was a hge experience that engulfed me as a man of the technology, gave me a different view on the standarts of electronics and electricity. Nowadays i work as a QC ( Quality Inspector ) in  Flextronics Israel.
hope that my story was interesting, sorry for sometimes rough English hope that you will understand everything i wrote down.
waiting for more of your posts sharing experiences asking questions about Israel and Israeli Air forse

F-111 C/C:
Cool pictures David. Most of my great memories of the A-4 were the Blue Angels demo team who flew the Skyhawk for a long time before the F/A-18. I remember being on top of my jet at the end of the runway just after an afterburner maintenance run on a Friday afternoon and the Blue Angels were practicing for their show that weekend. Well a skyhawk 'snuck up' on me and as I turned all I could see was the right intake and the shock wave literally knocked me off my feet! I swear if I reached out my hand I could've touched the jet he was that low. Great memories.


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