“This exercise demonstrated the connection in battle between the IAF and the ground forces”
The cooperation between the battalion and the fighter jets constitutes an upgrade in the communication and cooperation between the branches
When the moment of truth comes, the IDF will be able to operate in a multi-branch battle in a timely and thorough manner
: Aircrews from the “First Fighter” squadron from the Hatzor airbase dropped bombs under the direction of ground forces
The “Cactus” Battalion trained with armored forceדand fighter jets last week Fighter jets from the “First Fighter” squadron took part in an exercise that was held by the “Cactus” Battalion of the Givati Brigade, and hit targets under the direction of the ground forces. The cooperation between the battalion and the aircrews constitutes a significant upgrade in relations between the two branches, relations that are expected only to grow stronger
Cooperation between ground forces and the fighter jet division of the IAF is only growing stronger: Last week, IAF planes took part in an exercise held by the “Cactus” Battalion of Givati Brigade, during which live rounds of ammunition were shot at targets designated by the battalion.
While the “Cactus” Battalion belongs to the Southern Givati Brigade, last week the soldiers of the battalion went all the way up to the Golan Heights and spent a week practicing intense fighting in the northern region. During the exercise, the battalion also cooperated with the F-16C planes from the “First Fighter” squadron from the Hatzor airbase that came to provide massive firepower in one of the scenarios: the soldiers of the battalion directed the jets to hostile territory, of which they had to take control, and based on their direction, the planes dropped bombs on the threatening areas. When the jets finished, armored forces entered the areas and began firing a barrage of artillery in order to ensure the safety of the soldiers of the battalion.
An Upgrade in Cooperation
The cooperation between ground forces and the IAF’s fighter jets has been gaining momentum in recent years. The soldiers on the ground and in the air learn to get to know and work with one another in perfect harmony, that way, when the moment of truth comes, the IDF will be able to operate in a multi-branch battle in a timely and thorough manner. “This cooperation manifests itself in, among other things, firepower assistance by fighter jets with the understanding that this trend will only grow stronger on the battlefield”, stresses Major Uri, head of the ground exercise department of the Cooperation Unit.
Until now, there has only been cooperation with entire brigades and highly skilled Special Forces; this exercise constitutes an upgrade in the communication and cooperation between the branches. “The current exercise with the battalion is something different that has proven to be positive and has been executed at a high level”, adds Major Uri.
Shoulder to Shoulder
Cooperation between the battalion and the fighter jets was made possible with the help of the Cooperation Unit, whose members make sure to take an active role in the initial introductory process that allows the soldiers of each branch to get to know each other. “What we did in this exercise was demonstrate the connection in battle between the IAF and the ground forces, with an emphasis on the firepower support of the fighter jets as a backup in the advancement of ground forces towards the destinations and targets”, explains Major Uri. “The final result, as expressed in the expressed in the exercise, demonstrates the remarkable ability to concentrate the joint effort for the sake of executing the mission. Cooperation between the two sides, as in a real battle, really demonstrates the capabilities of the IDF in fighting”.