Halutz, Dan

(1948- )
   Born in Tel Aviv. In 1966, he began his military career in the Israel Air Force (IAF) pilots' course as a cadet, completing it in 1968 as a fighter pilot and serving from the end of 1969 in the first Phantom squadron of the IAF. Halutz flew 40 operational flights during the War of Attrition (1969-70). Released from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in 1973, he began his academic studies and earned a B.A. in economics but returned to the Phantom squadron with the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War (1973). In the course of some 43 operational flights, Halutz shot down three enemy aircraft. In 1978, he was again released from the IDF and served as a pilot in the reserves for four years. He returned to active duty in 1982, when he started to fly F-16 aircraft. In 1984, he received the command of the Phantom squadron and in 1986 was chosen as head of the operational unit of the Lavi aircraft project.
   In 1991, Halutz was appointed commander of the Hazor Air Force Base. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and appointed head of the IAF squadron in 1993. In 1995, he was appointed chief of staff of the IAF, rising to the rank of major-general in 1998, when Halutz was appointed the first commander of the Operations Branch. He subsequently served as commander of the IAF from 2000 until 2004, when he was appointed to the position of deputy chief of general staff. On 1 June 2005, Halutz was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and appointed the 18th IDF chief of general staff.
   He was the first former air force commander to become chief of staff. He came to office with plans for sweeping reforms to upgrade Israeli capabilities against long-range strategic threats as well as urban terrorism. He intended to restructure the ground forces, create new commands, and accelerate a process of modernization.
   Accepting the brunt of the criticism for the errors committed by the IDF in its prosecution of the Second Lebanon War (2006), Halutz resigned of his own free will as chief of staff on 17 January 2007.
   See also Winograd Committee.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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