Heyl Avir - Air Force Beret. Israeli air force gray beret with infantry insignia. Price includes beret insignia. The Israeli Air Force (Zroa HaAvir VeHa?alal, "Air and Space Arm", commonly known as Hel HaAvir, "Air Corps") is the air force of the Israel Defense Forces. The current Commander in Chief is Aluf Elyezer Shkedy. It has approximately 1000 aircraft. The IAF was formed when Israel achieved statehood in 1948 and found itself under immediate attack. Its predecessor, Sherut Avir, was the air wing of the Haganah. The IAF's humble beginnings made its first air victories particularly impressive and noteworthy; at first, it was assembled from a hodge-podge collection of civilian aircraft commandeered or donated and converted to military use. A variety of obsolete and surplus ex-World War II (mostly Ex-Luftwaffe) combat aircraft were quickly sourced by various means to supplement this fleet. The backbone of the IAF consisted of 25 Avia S-199 (purchased from Czechoslovakia, and essentially Czechoslovak-built Messerschmitt Bf 109s) and 62 Spitfire LF Mk IXE.