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Israeli air force organises largest drill in its history

Fighter jets of the Israeli air force, as pictured on 23 April 2015 [Minuzig/Wikipedia]
Fighter jets of the Israeli air force, as pictured on 23 April 2015 [Minuzig/Wikipedia]

The Israeli air force is preparing to organise one of the largest and most complex military manoeuvers in its history later this year, with broad international participation, Israeli media reported.

According to the Israeli public radio, about 100 fighters, other aircraft and a few hundred soldiers and pilots, along with logistical support forces from the United States, Greece, Poland, France, Germany, India and Italy are expected to participate in the military exercise.

Israeli radio said the air force squadrons will meet in Tel Aviv during the autumn season to carry out these joint exercises organised every two years to maintain the readiness of the participating countries forces.

Over the course of two weeks during the exercise, pilots will train to fight air battles, hit ground targets and avoid missiles.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht, the Israeli Air Force's chief of international affairs, said:

It will be a massive exercise; the biggest ever for the IAF. Seven nations plus Israel.

"People are seeing there's a lot to learn from Israel. In our tiny airspace and in the environment around us, things are so intense. The Russians are here…Many of the world's air forces are passing through here on their way to operations in Syria and elsewhere in the region. So we provide a sort of battle lab in which forces can hone a spectrum of skills needed to combat growing threats," Hecht said.

He explained that the so-called Blue Flag exercises would focus on cooperation rather than competition between the participating air Forces, as opposed to the Red Flag manoeuvers organised by the US Air Force each year at the Niles Air Force Base in Nevada.

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