|Closed in.||No, it's still operational.|
|Operated by.||Israeli Air Force after taking over from the British Mandatory Authority's air unit in 1948.|
|Owned by.||Israeli Defense Force after taking over from the British Mandatory Authority in 1948.|
|Outside links.||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tel_Nof_Airbase, http://www.nti.org/learn/facilities/392/ and http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/tel_nof.htm.|
Tel Nof Israeli Air Force (ICAO: LLEK), also known as Air Force Base 8, is one of three principal airbases of the Israeli Air Force. Tel Nof is located near Rehovot, Israel.
Israel quickly bought a small number of lesser quality Czechoslovakian made Messerschmitts were covertly transported to Israel at night in the May of 1948 to the base.
From the 1948 Arab-Israeli War until 1950 it was known as Ekron Airfield. Tel Nof housed the IAF flight academy until April 1966 when it was moved to Hatzerim Airbase. It is home to the specialist Unit 669 (an airborne combat search and rescue unit).
After the Cold War
In June 2011, it was reported that eight American jet engines for F-15 and F-16 fighters had been stolen from the base.
On 18 October 2011, Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who had been held captive by Hamas in Gaza for over five years and four months, returned to Israel via Tel Nof as part of a deal to exchange Shalit for 1,027 prisoners.
Today Tel Nof houses several fighter and helicopter squadrons. Several special units of the Israel Defense Forces are also located here, including Unit 669 (airborne combat search and rescue) and the paratroopers training centre. Tel Nof housed the IAF flight academy until April 1966 when it was moved to Hatzerim Airbase.