Guest post by Challah Hu Akbar, aka CHA or Challah
CHALLAH @ IDF
Pioneering women, whose deeds opened a new world for others to follow in their footsteps, were honored this year at the IAF Association's annual evening. The event, which highlights a different topic relating to the Air Force each year, was dedicated to the stories of the female pioneers of the Air Force from its inception until today.
Among those honored were Zahara Levitov, a fighter in the Palmach and pilot in the Air Force, and her daughter Orni, the IAF's first female navigator. Also honored were some groundbreaking women of the 1990s: Adi Berdshatzki, the first female colonel in the Air Force, and Margalit Tirosh, the first to head the Administration Squadron.
The role of women in the Air Force today was also applauded, with those honored including Maj. G, Deputy Commander of the Air Kings Squadron, and Maj. Revital Ozen, commander of an Iron Dome battery.
"From the day of the IAF's establishment, women have taken part in its work," said IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel. "From a small group, mainly working in support roles, the participation of women throughout the breadth of the Air Force's activities has blossomed, in the air and on the ground. In the [Air] Force, there are thousands of women in career service and around 6,000 [regular service] female soldiers."
Maj. Gen. Eshel also emphasized the increasing representation of women within the IAF. "Their scope has doubled in the past 20 years," he stated. "We are in an ongoing process. And in this field, too, the IAF is a leader. We are still far from having utilized the full potential, the quality and capability that exists inside Israeli society. We must increase our efforts, increase the integration, to strengthen the Air Force and to set an example to the IDF and the entire State of Israel."