Italian Air Force and IAF complete a joint exercise

IAF strengthens international cooperation with the large-scale training exercise, and an airbase visit of military attaches from 30 different countries

Date: 17/12/2011, 7:37 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website, IAF Website

Italian Air Force aircraft took off from “Uvda” aerial base on Friday (December 16), concluding a two-week exercise with the IAF. Italian Eurofighter and Tornado aircraft, as well as Israeli Barak (F- 16 c, d), Raam (F-15I) and Netz (F-16 a, b) aircraft participated in this exercise.

This exercise is a part of a broad training program and collaboration with counterpart air forces around the world. It was scheduled as a part of the IDF (Zahal)’s annual training program.

“This is the second time the Italian Air Force has come to train in Israel,” said Lt. Col. A’, IAF Squadron commander. “This year more aircraft and manpower are involved in the drill, adding the ‘Eurofighter’ as well”.

During their stay, the Italians trained with the “Flying Dragon” squadron specializing in enemy simulation, the “Hammers” squadron from the “Hatzerim” Airbase, and the “Knights of the North” squadron from the “Ramat-David” Airbase.

“The cooperation with the Italians has been ongoing for close to a decade”, said Brig. Gen. Hagi Topolansky, Head of the Aerial Division. “Our joint exercises allow us to improve in a variety of fields.”

The Italian Head of Aerial Division said, “We conduct several kinds of training exercises, learning much from the IAF.” These include exploring the geographical differences between the two countries. “We train extremely well here”, said Florenzo Arbeno, Head of the Italian Delegation. “The landscape here enables flying in lower altitudes.”

At the end of the two weeks the Italian and Israeli pilots met for a celebratory evening. “We have a good relationship with the Italians, and we’re happy to see each other. As a participant in previous exercises with the Italian Air Force, I know that we cooperate well,” said Lt. Col. A, IAF Squadron Commander.

Foreign representatives visit IAF base

Dozens of representatives from all around the world visited the ‘Uvda’ Airbase for various lectures on the IAF and special presentations of aircraft in action.

Military attachés from 30 difference countries, including Greece, Japan, Hungary and Romania, came for the IAF-run seminar where they witnessed airplanes take-off and land while IAF officers presented the capabilities of each aircraft.

“We invited the foreign attaches to get an impression of IAF training and get know the force better”, said ‘Uvda’ Airbase Commander, Col. A’. “Combined training with foreign militaries is crucial.”
In addition to the aerial demonstration, the military attachés attended lectures about the State of Israel, including a short history of the “Uvda” Airbase. Several IAF officers also lectured about the different threats that Israel and the IDF (Zahal) are currently facing.

The attachés then demonstrated much interest in Israel and shared their personal experiences and memories of the country, conversing about their different backgrounds.