Next week, starting on Monday, August 17th, 2020, the first joint exercise between the IAF and German Air Force will take place on German soil. This exercise is the only international exercise that the IAF is conducting abroad this year, due to the spread of COVID-19.
The exercise is being held to continue enhancing the IAF's capabilities, maintain its readiness to face various scenarios, and to continue strengthening its bonds and cooperation with allied air forces. "The IAF will participate in the exercise for the first time as Germany's guests", shares Lt. Col. A, Commander of the 105th ("Scorpion") Squadron, which operates "Barak" (F-16C/D) aircraft, and head of the IAF's deployment team. "This is an opportunity to showcase our abilities and learn about NATO's flight and training technique".
As part of the exercise, six "Barak" (F-16C/D) fighter jets, two "Re'em" (Boeing 707) aircraft, and two "Nachshon-Eitam" (Gulfstream G-550) aircraft will land at the "Nörvenich" base in Germany. The aircrew members will train in a two-week outline and drill various aerial scenarios alongside NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries as part of the "MAG (Multinational Air Group) Days" exercise - an international event that takes place four times a year.
During the exercise, the IAF will drill dogfights, ground-to-air combat, handling surface-to-air missile threats, and other combat scenarios in enemy territory. The exercise is an opportunity to fly tactically and face a wide variety of threats using advanced technology, and to execute quality aerial training in an unfamiliar arena. "This training is very effective and unique, as we train in an unfamiliar environment and territory", described Lt. Col. A. "We will fly in a different environment than we are used to in Israel, with different flight platforms and flight rules".
"The flights will be carried out using NATO's combat doctrine as opposed to ours, which creates a challenge for the pilot and Weapons Systems Operator in the cockpit", continues Lt. Col. A. "The exercise will simulate warfare due to the uncertainty, and the difference from training in Israel".
On Tuesday, August 18, 2020, a "Memory for the Future" flyby will take place - a joint flyby, led by an IAF Gulfstream G550 with F-16 fighter jets and two German "Eurofighter" jets, will fly by the Dachau concentration camp, in memory of the Holocaust victims and above the "Fürstenfeldbruck" Airport close to Munich, in memory of the 11 Israeli Olympic delegation members that were murdered in the 1972 Olympics terrorist attack.
Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin will lead the flyby in the Gulfstream G550 alongside the Commander of the German Air Force, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, and the IAF's first female squadron commander, Commander of the 122nd ("Nachson") Squadron, Lt. Col. G.
After the flyby, an official memorial ceremony at the Dachau concentration camp will be held. The ceremony will be attended by the German Federal Minister of Defense, Mrs. Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer, the Israeli Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Jeremy Issacharoff, the Commanders of both Air Forces and other dignitaries. The Deputy Commander of the 109th Squadron, Maj. Y, a grandson of a Holocaust survivor of the Dachau concentration camp, will speak at the ceremony. In addition, a "Yizkor" reading will be heard from Rabbi Mendel Moraity. The ceremony will be broadcast live on IAF and IDF digital platforms.
The deployment is strategically significant and greatly influences the IAF, IDF, and the entire state of Israel. Israeli - German cooperation and the arrival of IAF aircraft on German soil is a historic event. The IAF conducts and will continue to conduct joint exercises with other air forces to maintain its fitness and readiness, as well as to advance relations and encourage and strengthen the cooperation between forces.
"On a tactical level, we have the incredible opportunity to learn from other air forces and train in unfamiliar territory and challenging conditions", concluded Lt. Col. A. "From a strategic standpoint, we are strengthening our ability to cooperate with other nations and air forces".