An American-born Israeli Air Force officer now taking part in his third Blue Flag joint training exercise spoke with Arutz Sheva recently about the importance of this international air exercise hosted in Israel.

“This is my third Blue Flag exercise. Each Blue Flag exercise gets its [own] title and purpose. This time we’re calling it the ‘most advanced’ Israeli Air Force exercise.”

Captain T., who was born in the US but now serves in the Israeli Air Force, immigrated to Israel before enlisting, saying he had Zionism in his blood.

An immigrant himself, who grew up in the US only to move to Israel, T. highlighted the importance of learning to work together with air crews from other countries and different cultures.

“The understanding that we’re learning together is very important. It starts, not only in the flight, but also several hours before the flight when we’re briefing our flight – we’re planning a mission together. We receive a scenario, and we have to figure out what the solution is in that specific scenario.”

“We are flying a joint-generation fighter jet, fighter jets fourth, four-and-half and fifth-generation fighter aircraft. And we’re learning how to incorporate all three different platforms, with different countries… different cultures flying together.”

“We want to learn” from each other, “and this exercise advances each airman, each squadron and each formation from the planning up until the debriefing after the flight.”

The Blue Flag exercise, which began on November 3rd at Ovda Air Base in southern Israel, draws to a close Thursday.

This year’s exercise includes air crews from the Israel Air Force, Germany, Italy, Greece, and the United States.