The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, has visited Israel as a guest of the Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force, Major General Amikam Norkin.
The visit was to promote key collaborative efforts and strengthen ties between the nations’ Air Forces. During the visit to Israel, Air Chief Marshal Wigston was given a tour of the Israeli Air Force Bases, Tel Nof, Palmachim and Nevatim.
“This has been an excellent opportunity to engage with the Israeli Air Force, to celebrate our common heritage, to nurture our enduring relationship, and to explore many areas of mutual interest. I am very grateful to Major General Norkin and his excellent team for hosting the visit.”
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston
Chief of the Air Staff
During the visit the Air Chief Marshal Wigston took part in a joint flight with the Major General Norkin. The Chiefs flew in an Israeli Air Force F-15 aircraft from the 106th Squadron based at Tel Nof Airbase. They also visited Squadron 210 as part of a discussion on UAVs and their operational relevance in the Israeli Air Force. 210 Squadron is a part of the Defensive Sword Unit of the Israeli Air Force's Air Defence System.
The Chiefs then went on to visit Squadron 140 to discuss the force build-up of the F-35 to the Israeli Air Force and its effects on the Middle East.
During the visit, Air Chief Marshal Wigston also met 101 year old Dan Tolkovsky. Major General (Rtd) Tolkovsky is a former RAF fighter pilot who served during the Second World War. On leaving the RAF in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant, he then joined the newly created Israeli Air Force in 1948 and became the fifth Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force in 1953.
"The connection with the British Air Force is very important to the Israeli Air Force. During the visit, we discussed cooperation between our forces, and discussed the situation in the Middle East. We will continue to promote strategic collaborations with the goal of continuing to learn from each other, improving and strengthening ourselves along the way."
Major General Amikam Norkin
Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force
Air Chief Marshal Wigston returned to the UK on 18th March.