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First American Woman Graduates Israeli Air Force Pilot Course

The Boston native will operate heavy transport planes responsible for refueling missions and parachuting combatants.

BEERSHEBA, Israel —A Boston native made history as the first American woman to complete the prestigious Israel Air Force pilot course.

Identified only as Lt. O, the 21-year-old finished the three-year course to become a flight engineer in December, joining the small ranks of other women who have accomplished the feat in the last 25 years.

Lt. O graduated from the pilot course alongside 38 other cadets, including another woman, in a ceremony held at the Hatzerim Air Force Base near Beersheba.

Lt. O is the first American woman to graduate the Israel army’s pilot course. (Photo courtesy of IAF)

The ceremony, which takes place twice a year and usually draws large crowds, was scaled down during the COVID-19 pandemic to include only the cadets’ friends and family. It was led by President Reuven Rivlin, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi and Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz attended the event virtually.

As a flight engineer, Lt. O will operate heavy transport planes that are responsible for aerial refueling missions, supplying equipment and parachuting combatants.

There are approximately 1,000 other lone soldiers from the United States serving in the Israel Defense Forces.

First American Woman Graduates Israeli Air Force Pilot Course appeared first on ISRAEL21c.

(Edited by Carlin Becker and David Martosko)