Aluf AMIR ESHEL (Hebrew : אמיר אשל; born 1959) is a
former Israeli general who served as commander of the Israeli Air
Force . A Major General since 2008, Eshel is a former head of the IDF
Planning Directorate . He succeeded
Ido Nehoshtan as commander of the
Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force on May 10, 2012 and was succeeded by Amikam Norkin
on August 10, 2017.
Born in 1959, Eshel was drafted into the IDF in 1977. After
graduating from the IAF Flight Academy as a fighter pilot in 1979,
Eshel flew the
A-4 Skyhawk , first out of Etzion and then from Ramon .
He also flew the Skyhawk during the
1982 Lebanon War
1982 Lebanon War . After serving
with the flight academy as a combat instructor, Eshel went on to fly
the F-16 out of
Ramat David Airbase
Ramat David Airbase . Between 1993 and 1995 Eshel
commanded 201 Squadron at Tel Nof . Flying the Kurnass 2000 variant
F-4 Phantom II
F-4 Phantom II , Eshel led the squadron during Operation Grapes
of Wrath . Between 1997 and 1999 Eshel headed the IAF's Operations
In 1999 Eshel was assigned command of Ramon Airbase. On December 16,
1999, while ferrying an
AH-64 Apache from Ramon to northern Israel,
Eshel carried out a routine weapons systems check on the supposedly
unarmed helicopter, accidentally firing an
AGM-114 Hellfire which
narrowly missed a group of IAF reserve soldiers nearby. The incident,
for which he fined himself, was written up in his record, but did not
prevent further promotion. In 1999 Eshel was assigned command of Tel
Eshel, the son of
Holocaust survivors, in September 2003 led a
formation of three IAF F-15 Eagles on a fly-over of the Auschwitz
concentration camp . As it flew above the camp, Eshel broadcast a
message to an IDF ceremony taking place below:
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.
Eshel later explained that "We're talking about a personal dream of
15 years ... This is the most significant expression of the rebirth of
this nation. As the IAF, we are the most concrete expression of the
might of the Jewish people and there's no one better than us to
express it". The Israeli delegation had been in Poland on the
occasion of the
Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force 's 85th anniversary and had
participated in the
Radom Air Show .
In 2004 Eshel became head of the IAF's Air Group, commanding all
operational assets and in January 2006 was appointed IAF Chief of
Staff, a role he filled during the
2006 Lebanon War . Eshel was
subsequently credited with the improvements to air-ground integration
implemented after the war.
On March 27, 2008, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and
appointed head of the IDF's Planning Directorate. He replaced Ido
Nehoshtan , which had just been appointed Commander in Chief of the
IAF. On February 5, 2012, Eshel was announced as Nehoshtan's
successor as Commander in Chief of the Israeli Air Force, when the
latter completed his tenure in May 2012. The other candidates were
Military Secretary to the Prime Minister , Maj. Gen. Yochanan
Locker , and IAF Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Nimrod Sheffer .
Eshel completed his term as commander of the IAF on August 10, 2017.
He was succeeded by
Amikam Norkin .
Eshel is married and a father of three. He holds a degree in
Auburn University , Alabama, and a degree in political
science from the
University of Haifa
University of Haifa ’s National Security Studies
* Biography portal
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* ^ Ossenheim, Omri (January 13, 2006). ידידותי למשתבש
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* ^ Katz, Yaakov. "Planning ahead". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved
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Israeli Air Force Magazine. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
* ^ A B Harel, Amos (February 3, 2012). "Feet on the ground, head
in the sky". Ha'aretz. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
* ^ Shreeve, Mike (2003). "Pole Position". www.airsceneuk.org.uk.
Retrieved February 3, 2012.
* ^ Lambeth, Benjamin S. (2011). Air Operations in Israel\'s War
Against Hezbollah. Rand Corporation. ISBN 978-0-8330-5841-6 .
Retrieved February 3, 2012.
* ^ "Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel: Commander of the Planning Branch".
Israel Defense Forces. March 27, 2008. Archived from the original on
October 28, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
* ^ Harel, Amos; Cohen, Gilli (February 5, 2012). "Amir Eshel
appointed as next
Israel Air Force chief". Ha'aretz. Retrieved
February 5, 2012.
* ^ "מפקד חיל-האוויר הבא: האלוף אשל".
Israeli Air Force. February 4, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
* ^ Limor, Yoav (January 26, 2012). "
Amir Eshel likely to be
appointed new IAF commander".
Israel Hayom. Retrieved February 3,
* ^ Harel, Amos (January 24, 2012). "Iran will not appoint next
Israel Air Force chief". Ha'aretz. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
* ^ Ahronheim, Anna (August 10, 2017). "IDF Appoints new Air Force