First Ethiopian IAF combat pilot

Source: First Ethiopian IAF combat pilot

Lt. Y. is the first member of Israel’s Ethiopian community to earn IAF combat wings; PM Netanyahu and IAF Commander expressed their pride during the course’s graduation ceremony.
For the first time in the history of the Israeli Air Force, a cadet from the Ethiopian community was awarded his pilot wings on Wednesday, and is to start his active duty as a combat navigator.

“Being a member of the air squadrons and serving in one of the IDF’s most significant units is for me a great honor,” said Lieutenant Y, whose identity remains undisclosed, as with all IAF pilots.

“When I began the course I encountered some prejudice, but it wasn’t different to the kind other people face when they enter a new and judging environment, “said Lieutenant Y. “But I later discovered that I was surrounded by ordinary people… and I understood that I have a place in which I can develop and grow.”

Lt. Y. (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

Lt. Y. (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

“As the course concludes, I have mixed feelings,” he continued. “On the one hand it is nice to finally receive our wings after three intensive years of training; on the other hand, it is only the beginning of the journey.”

177th pilot's course graduation ceremony at the Hatzerim Air Base.  (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

177th pilot’s course graduation ceremony at the Hatzerim Air Base. (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the new pilots for completing the tedious course during a speech at the 177th pilot’s graduation ceremony, that took place at the Hatzerim Air Base near the city of Be’er Sheva.

Netanyahu then asserted Israel’s determination to prevent the entrenchment of Iranian forces in Syria, and expressed his trust in the IAF.

 (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

(Photo: Motti Kimchi)

“The nation of Israel depends on you and I put my faith in you,” the prime minister said. “My mind is always on our pilots. During the wee hours of the morning, I sit near the telephone waiting to hear from my military secretary that an operation was successful and that all our pilots returned home safely.”  Both Netanyahu and Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin made statements referring to the IDF’s operation in Syria Tuesday night. Norkin also welcomed the first Ethiopian to complete the course: “Distinguished members of the Ethiopian community are here today, Kessoch, academics and public figures; your presence sends an important message…. I am proud of you Lieutenant Y.


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One Comment on “First Ethiopian IAF combat pilot”

  1. wingate Says:

    May the Almighty protect you and keep you ! May the Almighty be with you when you defend HIS firstborn Israel ! May the Almighty make you strong and brave and fearsome as heroes of HIS army !
    Am Israel Chai !

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