In the first incident, the appointment of an IAF squadron commander was cancelled after the officer, a major, failed a polygraph test related to drug use. The officer has been grounded indefinitely and IAF sources believe he will be dismissed.
In the second incident, IAF commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel was forced to cancel the appointment of another officer to the position of commander of an Apache attack squadron after it surfaced that the officer, Lt. Col. 'A,' failed in acquiring a security clearance.
Lt. Col. 'A' is the son of a well-known public figure and his family is intimately related to the IAF; he is married to a pilot and his older brother is a brigadier general who serves as a key IAF commander.
As part of the appointment process to a sensitive position, Lt. Col. 'A' was required to undergo a security clearance check administered by the Shin Bet, which includes polygraph examinations related to civilian and military life.
The assumption for why Lt. Col. 'A' failed in acquiring a security clearance is related to personal-administrative reasons and not security matters, which has raised anger among other pilots.
"The commander of the IAF needs to stand in front of the director of the Shin Bet and tell him not to cancel an appointment over nonsense," said a senior IAF official.
Maj. Gen. Eshel addressed the cancellations, saying, "We had two mishaps with squadron commanders. In one case, the disqualification was justified. In the second, I regret the disqualification and will work to appoint that officer to squadron commander."