Sunday, September 13, 2009

IDF and MDA Forces responding in South Hevron Hills

6:35 PM Released for publication. In a tragic IAF F16 air crash in the South Hebron hills, Assaf Ramon the son of Ilan Ramon's -- Israel's first astronaut was killed. Ilan Ramon was killed when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry.


IAF commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan and head of the IDF Manpower Division Avi Zamir personally went to Rona Ramon's house to deliver the news.

News of the crash and the identity of the pilot resonated widely throughout the IDF and particularly in the Air Force where Ilan Ramon was a legend.

"This is shocking," said one senior IDF officer.

The cause of the accident was under investigation and was complicated by the large crash scene. Officials said that the debris was spread over a large piece of land near the settlement of Pinei Hever.

Ilan Ramon became the first Israeli in space aboard the fatal mission of Columbia which exploded during its reentry over Southern Texas in 2003. Ramon was a colonel in the IAF and before joining NASA he held a number of staff positions at the branch's Tel Aviv headquarters.

Assaf Ramon announced his plans to follow in his father's footsteps shortly following the Columbia tragedy. In 2006 he enlisted in the IDF and successfully passed the IAF's grueling examinations and trials for the prestigious pilot's course.

Assaf was the valedictorian of his class which graduated in June. Several months ago, during a routine training flight in a Skyhawk A4, Ramon encountered a technical failure when the engine suddenly died. Instead of injecting, like protocol dictates, Ramon, together with the flight instructor, succeeded in restarting the engine and safely returning to base.

6:24 PM Any Blogger posting information about the security incident in the South Hevron Hills is in direct violation of the IDF censor.

6:22 PM
IDF Censor continues tight blackout, yet the details keep showing up on Israeli websites, only to be deleted within seconds due to the sensitivity of the report.

6:01 PM
IDF Military censor forbids publication as of now. Details soon

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amyrpk said...

Oh dear G!d.

ברוך דין אמת.

Neshama said...

Oy, what sad news, so very sad, right before Rosh HaShana! That poor mother, my heart goes out to her. May Hashem give them only simchas from now on. Oh, it's just so tragic.
Baruch Dayan HaEmet

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