For a week, the squadrons focused on the complexity of dilemmas during such events
Defending the skies from aerial terrorism has been given more emphasis since 9/11 Potential aerial attacks are some of the most frightening scenarios that could be imagined. During the past week, IAF combat squadrons had a row of training sessions, practicing for the real deal and learning how to prevent it. “The dilemmas are challenging no less than the mission itself”
On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 the ground beneath of the western world was shaken, as the symbolic capital, New York City, sustained an unprecedented terroristic hit of the Al Qaeda organization. A number of civilian airplanes were abducted and were flown with the travelers inside them toward targets in the United States. The most destructive hit was of two airplanes with the twin towers–the world trading center, in which 3,000 people were killed.
Following the attack, the IAF realized that the force has to prepared and face the dangers of aerial terror threats. Today, almost a decade later, the force continues to train for such potential threats. For this purpose, combat squadrons of the forced stopped their daily routine and focused on the complexity of aerial threats for an whole week.
“Although we fly in certain layouts during our daily routine, we practice identifying civilian or enemy aircrafts that invade our aerial territory and threaten Israeli skies”, explains First Lieutenant Ronen, instruction officer of the “Defenders of the South” squadron, who is responsible for the squadron’s training.
“During this practice, the pilots face a civilian aircraft that does not respond in the communication device, a hostile UAV collecting intelligence, and a helicopter landing forces in our territory. They need to know how to handle these kinds of situations”.
Although the training is meant for combat squadrons, other squadrons participate in it as well–Red Formations–squadrons who simulate enemy forces. And so, Boeing 707 of the “Desert Giants” simulated a civilian cargo plane that went off course. In this situation, the pilots have to give a second though before intercepting the plane. “In the aerial battle situations we usually practice we know that our aim is to drop the airplane. But when we’re dealing with a plane filled with passengers, intercepting isn’t always the better option. That’s why the dilemmas are challenging no less than the mission itself”.