IAF Commander Amikam Norkin
IAF Commander Amikam Norkin IDF Spokesman

IAF commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin today held a preliminary investigation into the flooding at Hatzor Base in the presence of the Corps' senior command forum.

Norkin pointed out that the incident is inconsistent with what is expected of the Corps, so it is important to research, learn, and apply lessons to prevent similar incidents from recurring in the future.

The IAF Commander ordered establishing an expert investigation team led by Lieutenant-Colonel T. to determine the reasons for the base ceasing to be operational following the floods last Thursday. The IAF continued to maintain operational readiness in all other corps bases.

Yesterday, Hatzor Base returned to operational and training activities and in coming days will also return underground hangars that were flooded and damaged to routine functionality.

The IAF Commander noted that alongside extensive assessments to deal with the severe weather at all bases, "we were wrong to have not evacuated the planes from the underground hangars in danger of flooding at Hatzor base."

However, Norkin expressed appreciation to commanders, technicians, and construction personnel for the incident's handling in the field, for their determination, and their actions that took three days to restore the base for flights.

The Corps Commander emphasized that it is now of great importance to carry out a rigorous investigation including examining the present case, the extent to which lessons can be learned from past incidents, and improving the interface between the IAF and the civilian authorities. He also emphasized that the IAF would continue to maintain preparedness and operations in relation to the various arenas and challenges.