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Hatzerim
3114'N 3439'E

Hatzerim is located in southern Israel west of Beersheba, in the Negev Desert. As Beersheba [the "capital of the Negev"] has grown, it has expanded almost to the edge of the airbase itself. The base is home to the Air Force Museum, located in the north-west corner of the base, and an operational base that is home to various training squadrons. Founded in 1977 and opened to the public in June 1991, over a hundred restored and preserved aircraft are on display at the Museum. The IAF Flight Academy first opened its doors in 1950 at Sirkin Field near Petach Tikva. From Sirkin the school moved to Tel Nof Air Force Base and from there to its current location at Hatzerim Air Force Base. The primary mission of the Flight Academy is to qualify aircrews. The Israeli Aerobatic Team, flying four Aerospatiale (Fouga) CM-170 'Magister' aircraft, is based at Hatzerim.

This modern air base was built in the 1960s, and used by the IAF beginning in 1966, when it was only partially completed. It has a total of four runways, ranging in length from 1830 meters to 2750 meters. Operational units use the two southern runways and the Flight School units use the northwest pair of runways.

On 19 January 1998 the first two of 25 new US-built Boeing F-15Is arrived at Hatzerim Air Force Base. They were greeted a crowd of 3,000, including dignitaries from the United States and Israel. Dignitaries gathered for the ceremony included Israel's Minister of Defense, Yitzhak Mordechai; the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, Richard Roth; Israel's Chief of Staff, Amnon Shahak; Israel's Commander of the Air Force, Eitan Ben-Eliahu; and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of International Affairs, Clinton V. Horn. Also attending representing Boeing was Mike Sears, president of McDonnell Aircraft and Missile Systems, which builds the F-15.

Every year, Israeli soldiers give about about one third of all blood units collected by the Blood Bank of Magen David Adom. In 1998 the personnel at Hatzerim Air Force Base gave the largest blood donation in Israel for the year.

In September 1997 Palestinians rejected an Israeli proposal that planes arriving at the Dahaniya airport in Gaza first land at the Israeli airport in Hatzerim and for a security check before they continue to the Palestinian airport.

Imagery of the Hatzerim Airfield
Click on the small image to view a larger version
July 30 1969

October 12 1969
August 6 1970



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