This is the story of the IAF, the Israeli Air Force.
This is the spearhead of Israeli audacity and survival.
The necessity to defend the borders of a minuscule country surrounded by enemy nations has created an Air Force with the most sophisticated equipment in the world.
But it’s not just the advanced technology of the Israeli fighter jets that help Israel remain militarily superior to other countries, it’s the pilots who fly them.
Israeli air force pilots are of the most courageous, disciplined, and innovative in the world.
And they need to be…
During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Israeli Air Force consisted of some left-over World War II civilian and combat aircraft that were transformed into a very minor force.
It is a true story that the Israeli Air Force actually dropped soda bottles onto the Egyptian forces in order to scare them into submission.
The role of an Israeli pilot in the fledgling Israeli Air Force was played by none other than Frank Sinatra who played Vince Talmadge, a pilot who basically performed a suicide mission in order to halt or slow down the Egyptian forces.
A mere 8 years later, in 1956, Israel’s Air Force had already matured.
Dropping paratroopers way behind enemy lines in the area called the Mitla Pass in the Sinai was a critical component of the successful Sinai campaign that Israel fought against the Egyptians.
However, the crowning moments for the Israeli Air Force were undoubtedly the surprise attacks that were performed against the Air Forces of multiple countries threatening Israel – Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and even Iraq.
What is not often noted is that the Egyptian Air Force was far more superior than the Israeli Air Force in terms of the aircraft that they were using. Once Israel had attained air supremacy, the rest of the battle was much easier to be victorious in.
It was clearly the turning point of the war.
Interestingly, Mitchell Bard, in his article, US-Israel Strategic Cooperation: The 1968 Sale of Phantom Jets to Israel, notes that only after Israel succeeded in winning the Six Day War did the Lyndon Johnson administration decide to sell F-4 Phantom fighters to Israel. This was the first sale of American military equipment to Israel.
From then onward, Israel’s Air Force has basically been feared by all of it’s enemies.
Despite some setbacks in the Yom Kippur War, Israel’s armed forces still prevailed.
In 1982, during Operation Peace for the Galilee, the Israeli Air Force was completely dominant.
Perhaps more than any other branch of the Israel Armed Forces, Israel’s Air Force inspires fear and awe among those who would threaten the State of Israel.