Three IDF officers were officially censured this week over the estimated $8.7 million damage caused to eight F-16 fighter jets last month due to the flooding of several underground hangars, a senior Israeli Air Force officer stated.
The commander of the base is leaving his position early although he will continue his career in the IDF.
Chief of staff of the IAF Brig. Gen. Nir Barkan told reporters that the investigation into the incident showed that the officers on the base were negligent in their duties by failing to prevent the flooding of the hangars on January 9, despite definite predictions of stormy weather.
“The proper and professional operation of the base’s drainage system, which was recently upgraded, would have minimized the damage significantly,” Barkan told reporters.
Barkan added that five of the damaged planes have already been repaired and are in service. Three other planes are in the process of being repaired and should be ready for operation in about two months.
The estimated $8.7 million damage (NIS 30 million) includes the damage to the hangars, planes, equipment and ammunition.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)