The next commander of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) will likely be Major General Amir Eshel.
This morning, Israel Hayom reported that Minister of Defense Ehud Barak is expected to confirm Eshel’s appointment within the next week.
Maj. Gen. Eshel, who is serving as the Head of the IDF’s Planning Branch (Agat), is the favored candidate of Israel's Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.
According to various publications, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak were interested in appointing Netanyahu’s Military Secretary, Maj. Gen. Yohanan Locker, to the position.
For some time Eshel, a combat pilot, was considered “destined” to take over the role. In the past, Locker was not a realistic candidate partly because he was a navigator in his aerial qualification (a less prestigious role than a pilot, according to IAF concepts).
According to Israel Hayom, if Eshel is appointed Air Force Commander, Chief of Staff Gantz may offer the Head of the Planning branch position, which is responsible for the strategic field and work plans in the IDF, to Major General Yohanan Locker.