The Israeli Air Force operates as the aerial warfare branch of the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded on May 28,1948, shortly after the Israeli Declaration of Independence, as of May 2012 Aluf Amir Eshel serves as the Air Force Commander. The Israeli Air Force formed on May 28,1948, using commandeered or donated civilian aircraft and obsolete, eventually, more aircraft were procured, including Boeing B-17s, Bristol Beaufighters, de Havilland Mosquitoes and P-51D Mustangs. The Israeli Air Force played an important part in Operation Kadesh, on June 5,1967, the first day of the Six-Day War, the Israeli Air Force executed Operation Focus, crippling the opposing Arab air forces and attaining air supremacy for the remainder of the war. Shortly after the end of the Six-Day War, Egypt initiated the War of Attrition, on October 7,1973, the IAF conducted Operation Tagar against Egyptian air bases of the Egyptian Air Defence Force. Although initially successful, with 10 bases hit, the urgency of the fighting on the Golan heights forced the operations suspension, since that war most of Israels military aircraft have been obtained from the United States. Among these are the F-4 Phantom II, A-4 Skyhawk, F-15 Eagle, the Israeli Air Force has also operated a number of domestically produced types such as the IAI Nesher, and later, the more advanced IAI Kfir. On June 7,1981, eight IAF F-16A fighters covered by six F-15A jets carried out Operation Opera to destroy the Iraqi nuclear facilities at Osiraq, on June 9,1982, the Israeli Air Force carried out Operation Mole Cricket 19, crippling the Syrian air defence array. The IAF continued to mount attacks on Hezbollah and PLO positions in south Lebanon, on October 1,1985, In response to a PLO terrorist attack which murdered three Israeli civilians in Cyprus, the Israeli air force carried out Operation Wooden Leg. The strike involved the bombing of PLO Headquarters in Tunis, by F-15 Eagles, in 1991, the IAF carried out Operation Solomon which brought Ethiopian Jews to Israel. In 1993 and 1996, the IAF participated in Operation Accountability and Operation Grapes of Wrath and it took part in many missions since, including during the 2006 Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Cloud and Operation Protective Edge. On September 6,2007, the Israeli Air Force successfully bombed an alleged Syrian nuclear reactor in Operation Orchard, squadron markings usually go on the tail fin. Forerunners of the Israeli Air Force were the Palestine Flying Service established by the Irgun in 1937, and Sherut Avir, the Israeli Air Force formed on May 28,1948, shortly after Israel declared statehood and found itself under attack. The force consisted of a hodge-podge of commandeered or donated civilian aircraft converted to military use, a variety of obsolete and surplus ex-World War II combat-aircraft were quickly sourced by various means to supplement this fleet. Creativity and resourcefulness were the foundations of early Israeli military success in the air, Israels new fighter-arm first went into action on May 29,1948, assisting efforts to halt the Egyptian advance from Gaza northwards. Four newly arrived Avia S-199s, flown by Lou Lenart, Modi Alon, Ezer Weizman and Eddie Cohen, although damage to the enemy was minimal, two aircraft were lost and Cohen killed, nevertheless the attack achieved its goal and stopped the Egyptians. After un-assembled planes were strafed on the ground on May 30th at Ekron airfield the fighters were moved to makeshift strip located around the current Herzliya Airport. The Israeli Air Force scored its first aerial victories on June 3 when Modi Alon, flying Avia D.112, the first dogfight against enemy fighters took place a few days later, on June 8, when Gideon Lichtaman shot down an Egyptian Spitfire
The F-35I Adir (accompanied by a Negev Squadron F-16I Sufa) with the Israeli Air Force, December 2016
Fleet of planes in Montenegro airport on way to Israel, 1948. Only three of the Spitfires completed the journey.
an Israeli pilots passport page who flew to Czechoslovakia to bring back to Israel the Avia S-199.