They were trained to become aerial assistance officers in their battalions
As a part of the course, ground officers directed helicopters The IAF is strengthens its bonds with ground forces: For the first time, a course meant to strengthen the direct relations between the IAF and infantry forces has begun. “Our goal is to optimize assisting combat abilities for our troops. In the depths of war, we are their artillery”
Yuval Tsuk | Photography: Lior Kestner
The cooperation between Air and Ground Forces as a part of their joint Instructional Center continues to develop. Recently, an IDF official has been added to the IAF official stationed in various battalions. Now, the cooperation unit is taking it another step forward: The instructional center will authorize reserve duty officers from the ground forces to become aerial assistance officers within the various divisions.
This will be the first course with a focus on strengthening the communicative relations between aerial teams and ground forces operating in the lower ranks. “We want to optimize and improve the assisting combat abilities which is given to ground forces”, says Major A’, the managing combat pilot responsible of the course at the cooperation instructional center. “During the various war scenarios that the fighters face, the IAF operates as their artillery, and so strengthening the bond between the forces is very important”.
The Goal: Improving the Aerial Attack Assistance at Crunch Time
During the course, reserve duty officers from different section of the Fire Division were authorized to operate as aerial assisting officers in their bases, in exercise and at combat. “The main goal is to create the ability to communicate with aerial forces, so that the assisting officer will be able to aid his battalion in planning the ideal combat attack with aerial assistance. The goal is to improve the aerial attack assistance at crunch time”, says Major A’.
During the intense week of the course, the fighters learned about the control and planning structure of the IAF in order to understand the various operational manners at hand. They learned about the advantages of aerial assistance and focused on the combat helicopter formation–the main formation they will be dealing with while operating. They practiced maneuvering pilots out on the field, and even got a quick peek of the other side of the communication device, up in the skies, as they headed to the F-15 simulator.
“Crucial for the Next War”
Officers of the Fire Formation who belong to center command were the first to graduate from the course, since they have the strongest bond with the IAF division forces. In the future, the cooperation center plans on retraining the new aid officers in order to keep their qualifications and good communication relations in the long run. “Now, this responsibility is yours”, said Commander of the Formation, Brigadier General Aharon Haliva and urged them:”You have to commit to me that you will live this job, out of understanding of its importance to the next war”.