A large scale military exercise took place last week in Southern Israel with the participation of the Israeli and Italian Air Forces. This is the second time the Italian Air Force deploys to Israel; the first time was exactly a year ago. The Israelis are more than familiar with their Italian counterparts since they have yearly deployments to Sardinia, the latest of which took place last month.

In last week’s exercise Italy’s (and Europe’s) most advanced fighter jet the Eurofighter Typhoon participated in sorties alongside Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighters from bases all over the country. Among the squadrons participating was “The Red Dragon” squadron which is the Israeli Air Forces “Aggressor” squadron, which hosted the training exercise. 

An aggressor squadron is trained to act as the enemy force in military wargames.

The exercise is built around attacking (Red) and defending (Blue) forces while both air forces use aircraft from combined nationalities.

In the briefing held for members of the Attaché Corps, Maj. O. of the Flying Dragon Squadron presented his vision of building the exercises into a yearly multinational exercise in Israel, with participation from additional forces in Europe and around the world.

In addition to the strategic importance of these excercises, some feel that this a way for Italy to present cooperation so it will have an advantage in the tender for supplying Israel’s next advanced trainer. The tender is expected to be decided in the coming weeks.

Video: Adar Yahalom
Photos: Yissachar Ruas