Major General Amir Eshel was appointed Commander of the Israel Air Force (IAF) Thursday in a ceremony in Tel Aviv’s “Rabin” (Hakirya) Base. Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and members of the general staff and their families attended the ceremony.

Eshel replaced Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, who held the position for the past four years and served in the military for 37 years.

Barak conveyed his best wishes to Eshel, saying: “For the past two generations, the IAF has been Israel’s most critical and decisive component and the keystone of its deterrence capabilities.”

“We have the best Air Force in the world. The IAF has an immediate, significant and strategic value,” Gantz said, thanking Nehushtan.

Nehushtan remarked that “the IAF operates every day, every minute, 365 days a year, across Israel and around the world guarding the State of Israel.”

“Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan leaves a strong and capable Air Force designed in his image. We face significant challenges, but are ready for any future task,” Eshel said.