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Learning to Cooperate Release date 30.07.2017
The IDF’s Northern Command's Reserve Armored Division recently participated in an IAF Cooperation Unit instructional workshop, which included a discussion about effective air support, differences in control between the forces and helicopter extraction
Yael Fuchs

A Reserve Armored Division subordinate to the IDF’s Northern Command recently participated in an air support instruction workshop, in order to acquaint itself with the IAF's abilities during wartime. "While the IDF’s regular divisions undergo air support instruction workshops on a yearly basis, the reserve divisions only undergo these workshops triennially", explained Capt. Josh from the IAF Cooperation Unit and a "Yanshuf" (Black Hawk) helicopter pilot.


Photo by: Cyril Geiboronsky

What is the Air Force?
The workshop began with an extensive introduction to the IAF's goals, platforms and characteristics. Capt. Josh went on to add that it's important that the ground forces understand what the air force is, seeing as it is constantly at their side during wartime. "The air force is not a part of the division, but it does play a major role in battle alongside the division".

One of the IAF’s prominent missions is cooperation and air support in maneuvering battle. While the ground forces number in the thousands, the air force's numbers are smaller, both in terms of servicemen and aircraft. This difference was elaborated upon in the workshop, so as to create a mutual understanding between the forces.


Photo by: Cyril Geiboronsky

"In light of the IAF's organizational structure, each operation needs to be individually managed by a commander. The IAF Commander has the ability to directly contact each pilot and aircrew member being deployed on a mission. However, the ground forces’ numbers are too large for each specific case to be handled by a single source", said Capt. Josh.


Photo by: Cyril Geiboronsky

Up Close
Practical and theoretical exercises are constantly performed by reserve forces, but practical training with the air force is not a regular matter. "This is the first time that I've rehearsed aerial evacuation with the air force as a reserve officer", concluded Maj. Oren Shacham, an infantry company commander. "It's important to see the air force face-to-face. We simulate the IAF in our exercises, but it's different when an actual helicopter comes to pick you up. The noise, the mud, the dust thrown in your face by the rotor - these are all important to experiencing, learning and understanding the situation".