'The whole Air Force is in the air'

Major Air Force exercise takes place this week, seeing cooperation with ground forces. Main focus: northern arena.

Tags: Air Force
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Air Force exercise
Air Force exercise
IDF Spokesperson

A comprehensive military exercise was conducted this week by the Israeli Air Force (IAF). The exercise began on Sunday and ends tomorrow (Wednesday), and includes all the squadrons in the IAF.

A senior Air Force officer said today that “the whole Air Force is in the air.”

"The exercise trains the entire force, from the techical branch to the operational staff and the commanders, and the Air Force commander himself."

"We are practicing multi-theater, fighting in several arenas together. The main focus is in the northern arena where the enemy is immediate. We are practicing at a particularly high level against a challenging, thinking and reacting enemy that has technologies beyond what exists in today's arena."

According to the senior official, "The ground forces are full partners in the exercise, and we have reached the highest levels of cooperation, generally speaking, that we have reached in the last decade.”

He noted that this exercise is the first time that the Air Force is training for war with F-35 fighter jets: "Throughout the day and night. We practice uncertainty, flying in spaces of ambiguity, not knowing exactly who the enemy is and what position you are in. This allows us to get used to uncertain situations an important ability to have in the last decade.

In order to make the exercise more effective, the senior source said, forces are also simulating an enemy. "For a year we have been creating scenarios and we have capabilities in the field that simulate the enemy and move from place to place and challenge the trainees as they try to hit them.”

He also referred to improving cooperation with the ground forces: "We want to reach a situation in which the soldiers in the field will converge on a target after we have hit the enemy's targets and rope him in. We build on the fact that there will be no civilians in the area so that there will be no damage to innocents. We will make sure the bomb hits the terrorists’ house and not victims nearby. If there is a building with civilians, we will evacuate the civilians and then attack the house. It’s an intelligence challenge [requiring] the cooperation of the ground forces."