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RIAT 2017 - ISRAEL AIR FORCE RETURNS TO RIAT AFTER 15 YEARS ABSENCE

After a 15 year absence, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has returned to the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford.

The 40-strong crew arrived in a Shimson C130J Hercules after an eight and a half hour flight before appearing on the static display.

The team, which includes aircrew, technicians, media, foreign affairs, security and specialist paramedics, is at the airshow demonstrating the 669 Squadron's specialist operations capabilities.

Providing humanitarian assistance across the world, the aircraft carries specialist equipment for medical support, turning the aircraft into a flying hospital with staff who have been through extensive training, from scuba diving to taking blood and carrying out CPR.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht, Head of Israel Air Force Foreign Affairs, said: "It is our 70th birthday and we are discovering common interest and values with the British military. We are pleased to be part of such a big air show and are enjoying every minute of it. We are definitely enjoying the cooler British weather as it is 40C in Israel at the moment!"

Lt Col Hecht is no stranger to Great Britain as he was born in Glasgow. His family moved to Israel when he was eight years old and he still has a strong Scottish accent. "It is great to be back here and just be part of a world famous air show," said Lt Col Hecht.

Throughout the years, the IAF has deployed to many countries around the world providing humanitarian aid. Aid delegations that include search and rescue teams, equipment and food are sent rapidly to disaster areas in order to assist local teams.