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American Aircraft in Israel's Skies Release date 25.03.2018
A cooperative exercise between the Israeli GOC Army Headquarters & the IAF, and the United States Marine Corps & United States Navy, has ended last week. As part of the exercise, American aircraft flew in Israel's skies with support from the IAF
Carmel Stern

Last week, a cooperative exercise between the Israeli GOC Army Headquarters & the IAF, and the United States Marine Corps & United States Navy, has ended. The purpose of the exercise was to train the ground arm in cooperation with the US Marines through simulation of urban warfare, evacuation of casualties, demolition and artillery, among others. Ground combat forces trained in a training facility built in the Tze'elim base, which simulates an urban landscape that the Marine combatants are familiar with.


Photography: Koral Dvir

This is the largest cooperative exercise between the IDF and the US Marines held in recent years. “This exercise has a long history, and it has been occurring every year since 2014”, said Captain H’, Head of the International Cooperation Exercise Department. “We allowed the American forces to train in our field. The exercise was a part of the strategic cooperation between the IDF and the American forces. Therefore, it was important for us to give them the opportunity to train in the best way possible”.


Photography: Koral Dvir

Strengthening the Cooperation
American aircraft arrived on the “USS Iwo Jima” aircraft carrier. Fighter jets, V-22 helicopters, CH-35 helicopters, “Sea-Hawk” helicopters and “Harrier” aircraft flew in Israel's airspace over the past week.

“The combat division flew training sorties, and the helicopter division performed ground support missions such as casualty evacuation, transport of forces and low-altitude flight exercises among others”, explained Capt. Y’, the 118th Squadron's exercise leader. “These are considered very complicated missions for helicopters, and that's why the Americans decided to practice them here”.


Photography: Koral Dvir 

Onboard the American helicopters were Israeli supervisors ensuring the safety of the flight. Brig. Gen. Nir Nin-Nun, Head of Training & Doctrine Division, flew with forces from the US Navy in the V-22 aircraft as well as in "Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk" helicopters. “The American forces said that they would have to travel to the desert in Arizona in order to hold a high-quality exercise such as this one. They are glad to have had the opportunity to hold the exercise here, with the assistance of the IAF's ATC (Air Traffic Control) Division, which provided full support for all flights over Israel’s territory”.


Photography: Koral Dvir