The adolescents and young adults from all over the world are getting a chance to see Israel while learning about the IAF
This summer, the IAF is participating in an international exchange program, in which flight enthusiasts aged 17 to 24 are visiting Israel, while pilots and soldiers of the IAF visit a number of other countries to teach about Israel. The visitors – hailing from Canada, the U.S., France, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and South Korea – are being hosted by Israeli families. The exchange program is a decades-old tradition within the IAF. This year's visitors have toured throughout Israel, from Kiryat Shmona in the north to Eilat in the south. They have visited both historical and religious sites – such as the Old City of Jerusalem and Masada – and IAF bases. Moses, an 18-year-old participant from Canada, is himself a pilot. He received his private pilot's license at age 16, after six weeks of training – a much shorter preparation than the years of training required of all IAF pilots. "I know that in order to be a pilot in the Israel Air Force, you must be smart and fit, both mentally and physically," he explained. "I would say that the Israel Air Force carries out intensive training and is considered one of the best in the world." "This expedition is an amazing project and a longstanding tradition," said Brig. Gen. Ilan Boger, head of the IAF's Adjutant General Branch, addressing the participants, the hosting families, and organizers of the program. "It allows us to show the State of Israel, and particularly the IAF, in a different way. This is a great opportunity to get to know Israeli society, not based on what is said about it in the world media. This project, I hope, will contribute to strengthening our international ties."