The Nahshon Squadron of the Israeli Air Force has seen a rise in activity over the past year, the commander of the airborne intelligence collection unit told Ynet on Thursday.
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Most recently, it took part in Operation Pillar of Defense, although Lt.-Col. Amiram noted that the bulk of the squadron's operations span farther than the Gaza Strip.
The Nahshon Squadron was cited this week by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz for its outstanding performance, but most of the reasons for the award are confidential.
The unit operates a fleet of Gulfstream G550 planes, which are built like business jets but are equipped with advanced Israeli-made surveillance and control technology which allow the them to detect the movement of aircraft from afar.
Aviation Week reported this week that the military version of the G550 jet has an extended service ceiling of 51,000 feet, a surveillance range of 450 km, an endurance of 10 hours and carries 10 to 12 operators.
"These systems' brains and hearts are Israeli," Amiram said.
The squadron's operations this year included the transportation of the Israeli humanitarian search and rescue mission to Accra, Ghana, where a commercial building had collapsed last month, trapping dozens.
"We've had a very diverse year," said Amiram, who was barred from elaborating due to the confidential nature of the operations.
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