The Israeli Air Force coordinated extensive cooperation amongst international firefighting crews in order to put out one of Israel’s largest fires over four days
As the residents of northern Israel return to their homes and the Israeli Air Force moves on to its next missions, the IAF is proud of the work of the many foreign crews and Israeli crews who helped to put out the fire in Carmel.
The extent of the IAF mission was expansive with over 600 flights over the scene of the fire, two incident command centers, and coordinating across languages and organizations.
Throughout the entire mission, aircraft, crews, and supplies were sent to Israel from the civilian firefighting and military forces of Greece, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Croatia, France, Switzerland, Russia, USA, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, and Great Britain.
Aircraft ranged from transport planes to firefighting helicopters, and the members of the crews included navigators, pilots, meteorologists, and technicians.
The Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Nehushtan, noted that the IAF had “never dealt with this many planes before, the cooperation [was] simply exceptional”.
As the foreign crews departed once the mission was complete, Maj. Gen. Nehushtan issued each member an IAF certificate of appreciation for their devotion to the mission, professionalism, cooperation, courage, and true camaraderie.
More than the continued working relations between the IAF and air forces worldwide, the IAF is grateful for the new personal, global friendships made from the mission.