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April 17, 2021

Israel’s Ambassador Saranga attends commemoration ceremony of seven soldiers who lost lives in plane crash in Bucegi Mountains

Remembering and truly honoring our fallen heroes also means being by their families’ side, said Israeli Ambassador David Saranga at the commemoration ceremony of the seven soldiers – one Romanian and six Israelis – who lost their lives in a plane crash, ten years ago, in the Bucegi Mountains.

The commemoration ceremony of the tragic accident in the central Bucegi Mountains took place on Friday, in the presence of representatives of the Israeli State Embassy in Bucharest, the Romanian Air Force and the family of the Romanian soldier killed in the accident, in Brasov County Simon commune, at the monument erected in memory of the deceased.

On July 26, 2010, a high-altitude Israeli-Romanian training mission took place in the Bucegi Mountains and, following the sudden change in weather conditions, the two participating Israeli CH-53 helicopters were caught by an orographic wave, only one of them managing to avoid the collision with the mountain slope.

“Colonel Daniel Shipenbauer, Lieutenant Colonel Avner Goldman, Major Yahel Keshet, Major Lior Shai, Lieutenant Nir Lakrif, Sergeant Major Oren Cohen and Lieutenant Commander Stefan-Claudiu Dragnea were exceptional soldiers, as well as husbands, fathers, sons and grandsons. Grandmother of Oren Cohen is a Holocaust survivor, originally from Romania. Perhaps some may still wonder why this exercise took place here in Romania? Israel is a small country, which means that its training activities are limited. In 2003, the Israeli Air Force has signed collaboration agreements with the European Air Force to allow them to train in their military space. This gave the Israeli Air Force the opportunity to train in difficult areas with topographies not found in Israel, such as the Bucegi Mountains. The state of Israel has chosen to cooperate in this field with Romania, being a close friend and a special ally,” Ambassador David Saranga stressed, in the speech delivered during the ceremony.

The names of the seven soldiers were pronounced during the ceremony, along with the words “fallen on duty” and the Ambassador of Israel said a special prayer of mourning and Kadish commemoration, with an Orthodox service officiated by a Romanian military priest.

The ceremony ended with the laying of wreaths at the monument to the fallen heroes and an overflight of an IAR 330 Puma Socat helicopter, from which flowers were thrown in the area where the ceremony took place.

“It is a time of sadness. It is ten years since our aviator colleague Stefan Dragnea and the six Israeli soldiers, colleagues and allies of ours in the exercises, lost their lives here. Ten years pass in an instant, we have never forgotten, we continue to honor their memory, to be proud of what they achieved, to be close to the family of our friend Dragnea and we will never forget them,” said the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Major General Viorel Pana.

“Today, ten years after the tragedy, I can say that the relations between Israel and Romania in the field of Defence have improved, have become even better and this tragedy is another reason to have even closer relations,” Ambassador David Saranga said the end of the ceremony, according to Agerpres.


Photo: Facebook/Ambasada Israelului in Romania

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