Lior was the only woman to finish the Israeli Air Force’s 175th pilot course last week. In honor of her accomplishment, the IAF decided to invite her grandmother to the base for a surprise visit.

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The Israeli Air Force’s pilot course is considered one of the most prestigious and demanding tracks that the military has to offer. Every year, only a handful of graduates finish the three-year course. Last week, among the excited graduates was Lior, a helicopter pilot who was the only female to finish this year’s course. The IAF decided to honor her by surprising her before the ceremony.

Just like all her fellow graduates and the pilots who graduated before her, Lior was in front of a camera last week to record her part in the graduation video. However, she had no idea that IAF officials had decided to surprise her in front of the camera by inviting her grandmother to the base to give her a big hug.

The suprise

The suprise Photo Credit: Israeli Air Force

Last week, JOL reported that IAF Flight Academy officials said that recent changes were made in the selection and training processes in the pilot course, which will enable women to integrate in a more significant way. “We are making many efforts and changing procedures in order to better adjust the pilot course screening process for women,” stated Brigadier General Natan Yisraeli, head of the military aviation manpower unit.

“Another element is the increasing incorporation of women in senior command positions in the air force,” Yisraeli added. “We have for the first time a female deputy squadron commander. There’s the first woman in the squadron commanders’ course and in general, it can be seen that there are more and more women in senior positions. Combat flight is a professional matter, not a gender issue. The plane doesn’t care if the pilot flying it is a male pilot of a female pilot.”