The new commander in chief of Israel’s Air Force has Alabama ties.
Jaffa native Amir Eshel graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1991, after also attending the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. He was appointed commander on Feb. 5 after serving as head of the Israel Defense Forces Planning Directorate.
Eshel will replace current IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Ido Nechushtan, who is retiring in May after four years manning the post, Israel Hayom reported.
“Thank you all for your congratulations. I am aware of the magnitude of the responsibility and intend to do everything in my power to be deemed worthy,” was all Eshel was willing to say upon his return home that day.
In 1977 Eshel was drafted into the IAF pilot’s course and completed training in 1979. He participated in the Lebanon War, then commanded a squadron at Tel Nof. He later became commander of Tel Nof.
In 2003, he led a formation of three Israeli F-15s on a flyover of Auschwitz while in Poland for the Radom Air Show, which was part of the Polish Air Force’s 85th anniversary.
The son of Holocaust survivors, Eshel stated during the flyover “We pilots of the Air Force, flying in the skies above the camp of horrors, arose from the ashes of the millions of victims and shoulder their silent cries, salute their courage and promise to be the shield of the Jewish people and its nation Israel.” A picture from the flyover remains in his office.
In 2006 he became chief of staff for the Israeli Air Force, and the 2006 Lebanon War took place while he was in that role.
Eshel also holds a Masters in Political Science from Haifa University from the National Security College.
His appointment comes at a time when the Air Force may be called upon for a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear capabilities, and in a Jerusalem Post interview he also warned about the possibility of Syria’s chemical weapons winding up in the hands of Hezbollah.
Most online biographies of Eshel, including on the IDF website, list him as a graduate of Auburn University, but he actually attended the branch campus in Montgomery.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
New Israel Air Force Chief an Auburn-Montgomery Grad
SJLMAGTuesday, March 13, 2012
In Category :
About The Author Southern Jewish Life Magazine Southern Jewish Life is the news magazine serving the Jewish communities of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and northwest Florida. We are a unique magazine for a unique community. It has always been our goal to provide a large-community quality publication to all communities of the South. To that end, our commitment includes mailing to every Jewish household in the region, without a subscription fee. We love what we do, and who we do it for. Documenting this community, a community we are members of and active within, is our passion. Join us also on Facebook and Twitter
NOLA Community Obit List
Click here to sign up for the New Orleans Jewish Community Obituary Email List
The dedication of the new Bloom Hillel Center at the University of Alabama will be completed in November with the return of Hillel’s recen...
Do not adjust your set -- Auburn fullback Jay Prosch is indeed sporting a Hebrew tattoo on his arm. Prosch, who is playing in the BCS na...
On March 31, Mississippi Rabbis Debra Kassoff and Matt Dreffin will shave their heads, along with dozens of their colleagues from across the...
Rabbi Valerie Cohen, who has led Beth Israel in Jackson for 11 years, will become the senior rabbi at Temple Emanuel Sinai in Worcester, Mas...
The Community Day School in Metairie has Jewish in its name once again. The school’s board voted to change the school’s name in January. O...