Blue Flag Exercise

Blue Flag Exercise | Hundreds of participants, dozens of aircraft and one Ovda base army
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In October 2015, the Blue Flag exercise was conducted, which was the largest international aerial exercise in the history of the Israel Air Force.

245 sorties, 102 air crews, 416 maintenance personnel, administration and support, and 54 aircraft from all over the world participated in the exercise. The exercise included complex combat situations in unpredictable weather conditions and extremely high intensity, all in a number of different languages.

The Blue Flag exercise is a large-scale international exercise that took place for the second time, with the participation of the American, Polish, Greek Air Force and other air forces. The main objective of the exercise was to simulate extreme combat scenarios, while flying operationally and in the most realistic manner.

This is the first time that participants have performed night flights and practiced aerial refueling missions. At the same time, integrated forces were added to the exercise, including helicopters, cyber warfare, heavy transport and airborne control, so that between air-to-air and air-to-ground battles, the teams also practiced the tasks that support the operation of the battle system.

“We set up a high quality training ground that combined all the challenges of the operational arena,” says Major General A. “The Blue Flag exercise is the flagship exercise in the Israeli Air Force, which was attended by the best of the Israeli squadrons, as well as the best squadrons of the host countries.”

On the fourth day of the exercise, the commander of the Israeli Air Force, Major General Amir Eshel, took part in a joint structure that included, for the first time, the Israeli and American teams. The commander of the corps explained to the participants the strategic importance of the exercise, spoke with them and flew alongside them.

A Blue Flag exercise will also be held this year with the participation of seven guest air forces and hundreds of air and ground crews. Approximately 100 aircraft from the United States, Greece, India, Israel, Poland, France, Germany and Italy are expected to participate in the exercise.

About a hundred fighter planes and several hundred air and ground crews from the US, Greece, Poland, France, Germany, India and Italy will arrive in the fall for a blue flag exercise that will last two weeks and include extensive aspects of military strategy planning, coordination between forces, command and control. When a coalition of participants from several different countries is set up to fight in horrific scenes.

The Israel Air Force said that this would be the largest exercise the Israeli Air Force would participate in and would include seven countries and Israel. In 2013 and 2015, similar exercises were held and this year will be the third exercise, with the participation of the United States, Greece and Poland, but this year four additional countries that have not yet practiced in Israel’s airspace will be added to the exercise.

In contrast to the Red Flag exercise at the US Air Force Base Nails at Nevada, the Israeli exercise will not focus on professional competition between the air forces. Rather, the emphasis will be on cooperation and coordination rather than on competition.


Credits: חיל האוויר צה”ל – צבא ההגנה לישראל Israel Defense Forces

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