106 Squadron - The Edge of The Spear
The first aircraft to be part of the 106 squadron came from the Panamanian airline LAPSA, which served as a cover for Israel to receive ten C-46 aircraft and three L-049 aircraft from the US Air Force. The 106 squadron was officially formed on June 12, 1948. The "Tip of the Spear" Squadron was established in December 1948 with C-46 "Curtiss Commando" airplanes which were used by the "Aerial Transport" division. The airplanes transported equipment and supply from Ekron Airbase (today Tel-Nof Airbase) to the sieged "Negev", carried out bombings in attempt to free the south and took part in Operation "Ouvda" to conquer Um-Rashrash (today the city of Eilat) in March 1949. After running over 100 flights as part of Operation Balek to supply Israel from a base in Czechoslovakia, the 106 squadron was disbanded in June 1949. The squadron was dismantled in May 1949 and the airplanes were transferred to be used by "El-Al" national air company and the "Elephants" squadron.
The 106 squadron was finally reformed on June 11, 1982 composed of F-15C and F-15D aircraft. Other sources report the squadron was reestablished as a "F-15" Squadron (Baz Hebrew for Falcon) on June 15, 1982, during the temporary truce in the 1982 "First Lebanon War". Throughout the war, the squadron's jets were responsible for downing 22 Syrian airplanes. With its F-15s, the 106 squadron registered five kills in the Lebanon War.
On October 1, 1985, along with two of the F-15 sister squadrons, six F-15 from the squadron partook in operation "Wooden Leg", which involved a round trip flight of over 2500 miles. The destruction of the PLO headquarters in Tunis was the longest attack sortie that was conducted by the IAF, 1,285 miles away from Israel. Multiple buildings were destroyed in the attack, dozens of terrorists were killed and many were injured.
The 106 squadron conducted a number of patrols during the Iraq War of 1991, and it received several additional F-15s from the US in May of 1992. On August 3, 1994, during the negotiations towards a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, three F-15s led King Hussein of Jordan to the aerial space of Israel.
At the end of the 1990's, the F-15 was upgraded. The jet is going through additional upgrades and is expected to continue flying until 2025. The main goals of the upgrade are maintenance and changes in the structure of the jet in order to maintain its capabilities and enhance safety. On September 4, 2003, the squadrons' jets and two F-15s from the "Knights of the Twin Tail" squadron flew in formation over Auschwitz Extermination Camp. As of July 2005, the 106 squadron flew F-15B/C/D aircraft.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|