The Israeli Air Force revealed on Wednesday its new plan for improving the incorporation of women into its prestigious pilot course. “The plane doesn’t care if the pilot flying it is a male pilot of a female pilot,” a senior Israeli Air Force official explained. In addition, the commander of the flight academy said that the training program includes advanced technology that prepares the pilots for in-flight combat.

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The Israeli Air Force Flight Academy has trained over the past few decades hundreds of female and male aircrew members who have gone on to become part of the nation’s combat air force. On Wednesday morning, after years of secrecy, the head of the military aviation manpower unit and the commander of the academy revealed details about the training process, the new technology and the incorporation of female pilots in the Israeli Air Force’s most prestigious course.

The Israeli Air Force 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.


Archive Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s 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.”

Colonel Omer, the commander of the academy, said that the technology used to train pilots has considerably advanced over the years. He explained that the academy has “very advanced” simulators that the future pilots use to prepare for in-flight combat. “This is something that in the past, it was impossible to do,” he added.