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122 Squadron - The Dakota

Israel formed the 122 squadron in 1962 with several C-47 aircraft from the 103 squadron. The "Nachson" Squadron was established as the "Dakota" Squadron in 1971 in the Lod Airbase near Tel Aviv, as a result of the division of the DC-3 "Dakota" aircraft's missions in the "International" Squadron. The missions included transport, patrol and spec ops. The 122 squadron had only ten C-47 transport planes in 1973, and during Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Israeli Air Force commandeered three IAI Arava 201 aircraft to serve in the 122 squadron. The Arava planes were returned after the war, but the 122 acquired three more Arava 201s in 1984, as well as acquiring additional C-47s over the preceeding decade.

When the "Yom Kippur" War began, the force buildup in the squadron was small. Despite this, the squadron executed hundreds of sorties during the war in transport missions, evacuation and electronic warfare. As a part of the implementation of the intelligence lessons learned in the war, the US lent Israel two advanced OV-1D "Mohawk" observation aircraft which were operated by the squadron since 1974 and named "Bat" in the IAF. As a part of Operation "Litani", the squadron's aircraft executed 17 communication and transport sorties. During the First Lebanon War in 1982, the squadron carries out over 300 sorties in transport, evacuation and communication missions.

During Operation "Accountability" in 1993, the squadron executed 26 sorties, and following additional escalation in "Hezbollah" terror organization activity, the IDF initiated Operation "Grapes of Wrath" in 1996 in which the squadron executed 62 sorties.

In 2001 the "Dakota" aircraft was decommissioned after 52 years of service. The retirement of the E-2C "Hawkeye" division in the 90's, created an operational need for a control, intelligence and supervision aircraft. In the early 2000's it was decided to acquire "Gulfstream" ("Nachshon") which were intended for electronic intelligence gathering missions. As of 2005, the 122 squadron flew exclusively Gulfstream G550 aircraft. The first "Gulfstream" was received on June 2005. In 2007 corresponding control and technical divisions were established in the squadron. In February 2009, the squadron was moved to "Nevatim" Airbase.

Page last modified: 04-04-2021 17:49:05 Zulu