Directing Helicopters:  In open territory and built-up territory Directing Helicopters:  In open territory and built-up territory Directing Helicopters:  In open territory and built-up territory Directing Helicopters:  In open territory and built-up territory Last week, a helicopter training day was held for the platoon leader course, in which the trainees learn about the helicopter division of the IAF. Throughout the day, the future platoon commanders learned about the importance of the relationship between the platoon and the helicopter team, in order to be as prepared as possible for the moment of truth

Shir Cohen

Last week, trainees from the platoon leader and battalion leader course went out for a helicopter training day, lead by the Cooperation Unit. Throughout the day, the future platoon commanders learned about the IAF, with an emphasis on the advantages of the helicopter division. “The goal of the training is practical experience”, explains Captain Amit, from the Cooperation Unit. “At the end of the day, the spearhead of the maneuvering in combat is the leader of the platoon. The leader of the battalion is not always able to deal with these directions and so it is important for the there to be someone in the territory who knows how to work with helicopters.

The exercise took place at the Urban Training Center (UTC), located near Ze’elim airbase. The center was built after a model of a crowded city, and is used by the IDF for practicing warfare in urban areas. In addition, the trainees went out to the open areas outside the walls of the UTC for additional training. During the day, the platoon leaders directed the Black Hawk helicopters of the “Desert Birds” squadron to land in the designated places, and guided the combat helicopters of the “Owl” squadron to hit the practice targets.

“In order to practice as many scenarios as possible, we decided to work in different platforms in which the platoon leaders experience layouts that present them with different challenges”, explains Captain Oded, who is responsible for the Cooperation Unit on the day of the training. “In real combat the fighters will have to know how to direct the helicopters to evacuate injured soldiers, for example, be it in crowded territory or if they have to explain to the pilot where they are exactly on the empty map”.

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