The One

Ramon Airbase

• F-16I (Sufa)

“The One” Squadron was established on 17th August 1969, on the Hatzor Airbase. It was the first IAF squadron to receive the Phantom. The squadron's first commander was Major Shmuel Hetz. Nearly two weeks after they arrived the aircraft entered operational service. A pair of Phantoms were sent on an interception patrol in the Sharm El-Sheikh area. The introduction of these aircraft during the War of Attrition allowed the Air Force to increase the range of its activities and to strike strategic targets deep into enemy territory.

The start of January saw another element added to the war – IAF attacks well behind the Egyptian front line. In the words of Eitan Ben Eliyahu,  then Commander in Chief of the IAF: “The airstrikes deep inside Egyptian territory played straight into the hands of the Phantom's unique abilities.”  During the Yom Kippur War the squadron took part in strikes on ground-to-air missile batteries, interception patrols and air interdictions on both fronts.

During Operation Litani the squadron aided the ground forces and flew interception patrols. During the First Lebanon War the squadron took part in attacks on ground-to-air missile batteries, interception patrols, assistance to the ground forces and air interdictions.

As part of the restructuring of the IAF the squadron transferred to Tel Nof Airbase on 19th January 1988 and on 9th April 1989 received the first “Kurnas 2000”, Israel's upgrade of the Phantom.

In the early nineties development work began in the US on an IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) photography system for the IAF. The improved cameras arrived in Israel at the start of 1995 and were sent to Tel Nof for use by the squadron. After the systems were received the process of learning to operate them and developing appropriate tactics for their use began. On 5th March 1998 the systems were used to photograph for operational purposes. The photography flight was carried out almost perfectly and the results demonstrated the effectiveness and importance of the system.

The One
The One