Military Aviation

Former Israeli Air Force officer living in Massachusetts to reenlist after attack by Hamas fighters, US to reposition Gerald R. Ford CSG and tactical aircraft to support Israel

Former Israeli Air Force officer to reenlist

To help with his home country’s war effort following Saturday’s attack by Hamas fighters Boaz Arbel, a former Major of the Israeli Air Force who now resides in Massachusetts says he will reenlist into military service, WCVB-TV reports.

Arbel left for Israel in the night of Sunday Sep. 8, 2023. He now works as a Boston technology executive.

“I had to cut everything I do,” Arbel said. “I’ll be there until further notice.”

The Israeli military tried to crush fighters still in southern towns and intensified its bombardment of the Gaza Strip after the country’s government formally declared war Sunday and gave the green light for “significant military steps” to retaliate against Hamas for its surprise attack.

Boaz Arbel former Major of the Israeli Air Force

Arbel’s four daughters, who were all educated in Boston, are currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces. He said he is proud of his daughters, but also noted the situation was unfortunate.

“I wish they could do something else better and happier in their life, but they volunteered,” Arbel said.

More than 24 hours after Hamas launched its unprecedented incursion out of Gaza, Israeli forces were still battling with militants holed up in several locations.

The declaration of war portended greater fighting ahead, and a major question was whether Israel would launch a ground assault into Gaza, a move that in the past has brought intensified casualties.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) as seen from the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) on Sep. 8, 2023. 

Meanwhile, Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad group claimed to have taken captive more than 130 people from inside Israel and brought them into Gaza, saying they would be traded for the release of thousands of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

“It’s not even soldiers that were taken captive. It’s civilians, women, children, elderly,” Arbel said. “I could say: ‘Yeah, I’m staying here,’ and keep on with my life. But I cannot stand aside. I have to jump in and to help.”

Gerald R. Ford CSG to move to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to move to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea as a result of Saturday’s attacks in Israel.

The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group has been in the Mediterranean Sea since June when it resumed the US’s continuous presence in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker in preparation for air refueling operations within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility Aug. 6, 2023. 

As reported by USNI News, as of Oct. 2, the carrier strike group, which includes aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), USS Ramage (DDG-61), USS Carney (DDG-64) and USS Roosevelt (DDG-80), were operating in the Mediterranean near Italy.

According to Austin’s statement, in addition to the repositioning in the strike group, Austin also plans to increase Air Force squadrons of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, F-15, F-16 and A-10 tactical aircraft in the region.

The movements come after Austin spoke with President Joe Biden about the US response to the Hamas attack on Israel.

Austin said in the statement; ”Strengthening our joint force posture, in addition to the materiel support that we will rapidly provide to Israel, underscored the United States’ ironclad support for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli people.”

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Hamas fighters attack

In the morning of Saturday Sep. 7, 2023, Hamas attacked Israel with forces moving in from the Gaza strip, surprising and overwhelming the Israel Defense Forces in southern Israel, according to a CNN report.

In response, Israel hit more than 800 targets in Gaza so far, its military said, including airstrikes that leveled much of the town of Beit Hanoun in the enclave’s northeast corner.

Israeli Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told reporters Hamas was using the town as a staging ground for attacks.

Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Cabanero / U.S. Air Force, US Navy and WCVB-TV

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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