If you heard the loud screeching of teenage soldiers rising from Palmahchim airbase, fear not: it wasn't the result of a threatening missile, but a response to a bus full of Hollywood celebrities entering the airbase's gates. Nine celebrities accompanied by their spouses arrived at Palmachim, representing the "America's Voice" organization, which focuses on Israeli public relations across the world. After landing yesterday, the delegation arrived at the IAF base, and their stardust quickly intertwined with rolling dunes of sand.
First up, the stars visited the "160 First Cobra" Squadron and heard about its operational activities and missions. "Our Squadron's advantage is that our helicopters have the ability to make very little or entirely avoid collateral damage", says Major Stav, Deputy Commander of the Squadron. "Our mission is not only to attack the target for national security but also to make sure we don't cause great damage". After the welcoming conversation, the stars got to observe the 'Shoval' UAV and Cobra helicopter. They didn't leave before experiencing what it feels like to sit in the cockpit and even touch the maneuvering stick.
AnnaLynne McCord ("90210") in the cockpit of a Cobra helicopter
Tradition vs. Advancement
"Being here, in an IAF airbase, is a moving experience", says Omar Epps who is known for his role as Dr. Forman ("House") to IAF site. "It's my second visit in Israel. I had such a blast last time, and I wanted to experience a bit more of the culture and its beautiful people. It's a great place".
For AnnaLynne Mccord, who would be recognized easily by "90210" viewers as 'Naomi Clark', it is the first visit to Israel -- and she finds it hard to hide her enthusiasm. "I've only been in Israel for 24 hours and I've already fallen in love", she says, "It's amazing to see the newness alongside tradition and the history of the nation. It can take you very far".
"We appreciate you coming here, it means so much", said Major Amit, a combat helicopter pilot, to McCord. "I wanted to arrive here and to truly understand what it's like to live in Israel", she explains. "They say that every story has three sides: My side, your side and the truth. For me, seeing things with my own eyes is so much more reliable than what's written in the newspapers".
AnnaLynne McCord ("90210") and Zach Roerig ("The Vampire Diaries") at the IAF Airbase