An All-Squadron Takeoff An All-Squadron Takeoff

. “The challenge of this day is to conduct an orchestra, so that the entire air force harmonizes together” An All-Squadron Takeoff

“Operating the entire force from the fields demands a multitude of experience and long preparations beforehand” An All-Squadron Takeoff

For one day, decisions were made from the battlefield instead of the headquarters In an unusual exercise, the “Knights of the Twin Tail” squadron tried its hand at leading dozens of aircraft from the entire force

Tal Michael, Shani Pommes and Lilach Gonen | Photography: Lior Kestner

Bombings, takeoffs and operations far away from the country’s borders all begin within the rooms of the IAF Headquarters. Behind every bomb dropped or missile launched is a line of debates and discussions in Tel Aviv. For one day only the tables were turned, as the F-15 squadron “Knights of the Twin Tail” was forced to make the decisions itself, from the battlefield.

Enemy Planes Wait for the Opportunity

As a part of the special exercise, all throughout the day aircraft took off from IAF airbases around the country–all under the orchestration of the squadron. “Operating the entire force from the fields demands a multitude of experience and long preparations beforehand”, says Major Amit, Deputy Commander of the squadron. “We all worked concurrently, at different altitudes, and cooperated on the various missions”.

A quartet of F-15s flies at a high altitude, simulating the enemy waiting for its prey. Under them, is the “Blue” team, F-16 planes of the various squadrons, which are at that time busy obliterating simulated targets on the ground. Almost imperceptibly, one of the F-15 sneaks through, launches an imaginary missile and sends the plane that was “killed” back to its base. “The F-15 has the ability to simulate enemy planes”, says Major Amit. “As the ‘Red’ team, the altitude and speed allows us to simulate a wide variety of threats and to train other squadrons of the force”.

“The exercise was meant to increase the training of the entire system”, explains Colonel Peleg, Head of the Instruction Division at the force. “The challenge of this day is to conduct an orchestra, so that the entire air force harmonizes together”.

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