New helicopter pilots and future flight engineers left their cockpits and headed out to the field. A week of infantry training allowed the participants to experience battle through tanks and IMI Negev weaponry
Shir Cohen and Lilach Gonen
Battle appears differently when observed from the ground as opposed to high up in the sky. In order to know the difference, IAF flight engineer and pilot cadets of various formations hung up their formal uniforms and headed out for some field training. The seminar’s participants learned about the different aspects of infantry combat, took the roles of armed corps soldiers and got a closer look of the field. “During the operational training course, they experience their first operational steps while cooperating with infantry forces–which is one of their main missions as a helicopter crew|, explains Major Nir, Commander of the Transport Formation operational training course held at the “Desert Birds Squadron”. “The goal is to see another side of the same things through someone else’s eyes”.
The main purpose of the various helicopter formations revolves around cooperating with ground forces. At times of emergency, the bond between both sides becomes a crucial factor of the battle. “You understand that they see things in a whole different way”, says First Lieutenant Tomer, one of the operational training cadets of the First Combat Squadron. “After I realized what they see from the tank, I’ll have an easier time understanding where they are trying to direct me from up above”.