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Maj. Gen. Ben Nun Visits USAF Academy, USAF Special Operations School; Delivers Gottesman Lecture

JINSA Report #: 

October 28, 1995

On October 23, Maj. Gen. (res.) Avihu Ben Nun, former Commander of the Israel Air Force, delivered the second JINSA Gottesman Lecture at the US Air Force Academy. Sponsored by the Commandant of the Academy’s Distinguished Visitor Series, Maj. Gen. Ben Nun addressed the 2,000 cadets of the Junior and Senior classes on the subject of the Gulf War from Israel’s perspective.

His host was the Dean of the Faculty, who is very enthusiastic about JINSA’s Military Academies Program in Israel as well as the Gottesman series. The Dean hosted lunch on a balcony overlooking the dining room. The 4,000 cadets marched in and remained standing beside their chairs. Before they were seated, visitors sitting on the balcony were introduced to the corps. MG Ben Nun received a hugely enthusiastic welcome from the cadets. Guests at lunch included the head of the Political Science Department, the Jewish Chaplain and three Jewish cadets.

The Commandant of the Academy hosted the lecture Monday evening. Some of the material would have been familiar to JINSA members, but it was perfect for the cadets, who were mid-teenagers (with other priorities) during the war.

The second day, MG Ben Nun met with the upper-level Middle East Politics class. The hour was devoted to Q&A, with questions ranging from the Arrow Missile to the Gulf War to conscription in Israel to the peace process. The discussion was very high-quality and one of the cadets was a previous participant in JINSA’s Military Academies Program in Israel.

Leaving the Air Force Academy, MG Ben Nun traveled to the US Air Force Special Operations school at Hurlburt Field, FL. He delivered three lectures to the senior base personnel – one on terrorism, one on the Israeli rescue at Entebbe and one on leadership in the Israeli Air Force. This was the first time JINSA brought a speaker to the Special Ops school; we have been invited to do so again.

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