The IAF marked the conclusion of training for its latest class of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operators in a graduation ceremony Wednesday (August 15), the IDF Website's Yair Barzilai reported.
Dozens of new officers were inducted into the UAV Formation, following the conclusion of the 20th UAV training course. With hundreds of family members in attendance, the festive atmosphere was further enhanced by the arrival of IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel.
"Today is a festive day for the IAF and the IDF and – I will allow myself to go one step further – for the entire state of Israel," the Air Force chief began. "Our air force, the IAF – particularly the [UAV Formation] – is a pioneering air force by international standards. We never dreamt of the achievements [the UAV Formation] has managed to reach; it is a dream come true each and every day."
"The accomplishments of the UAV Formation deserve mention and credit both for the way they were carried out and for the end result," he declared. "Accordingly, our expectations [from the graduates] are in the sky, in both senses."
The UAV Formation was formed in 1969, for intelligence-gathering purposes. Since then, it has become one of the world's most developed and sophisticated units of its type. Israel gained a lead over other countries in this field, says the IDF Website, partly due to several countries' skepticism regarding the technology, especially in its early years.