Four Helicopters, One Prize: The Assault Helicopter Squadron Competition

Just a few days after the aerial teams from the “Knights of the Orange Tail” squadron left to rescue the F-16I team that evacuated an aircraft and landed in the sea, they reported for an additional challenge that was no less difficult: the annual assault helicopter competition of the division, “The Olympic Games Four Helicopters, One Prize: The Assault Helicopter Squadron Competition

“During the day, I flew feeling that my senses were as sharp as possible” Four Helicopters, One Prize: The Assault Helicopter Squadron Competition

All year round, the IAF’s assault helicopter squadrons are ready to complete complex missions, such as rescues, evacuations and transports of ground troops Four Helicopters, One Prize: The Assault Helicopter Squadron Competition

Which squadron is the most skilled at completing the missions of the division? All year round, the IAF’s assault helicopter squadrons are ready to complete complex missions, such as rescues, evacuations and transports of ground troops. Once a year, the squadrons get together to find out: Who among them is the most skilled at completing the missions of the division?

Michal Khayut

Just a few days after the aerial teams from the “Knights of the Orange Tail” squadron left to rescue the F-16I team that evacuated an aircraft and landed in the sea, they reported for an additional challenge that was no less difficult: the annual assault helicopter competition of the division, “The Olympic Games”. Year round, the “Black Hawk” and “Sikorsky” squadrons in the force look forward to the competition, in which they are expected to prove who among them is the most skilled at completing the missions of the division. This year, as part of the competition, the squadrons were tested on complex missions in their field. “All of this was done under the pressure of time”, explains Captain E’, who is responsible for the exercise on behalf of the training department. “Also, during almost every flight, the teams dealt with a surprise element. These are things the squadrons deal with on a daily basis”.

During the competition, the pilots have to deal with the tasks involved in rescuing pilots who have evacuated their aircrafts, evacuating injured people, flights in the face of threats, and accurate landings on territory. “The level of difficulty was high, and the layouts were almost unsolvable”, says, with a smile on his face, Captain C’, from the “Knights of the Orange Tail” squadron in Tel Nof, that operates assault helicopters. “But we everything within the time limits and we didn’t fail. The atmosphere was somewhat competitive”.

“During the day, I flew feeling that my senses were as sharp as possible”, explains Major L’ of the “Dessert Birds” squadron, that operates the Black Hawk helicopters, and last year’s champion. “We treated every exercise as if it were for real”. Although the competition usually consists of challenges that promote sportsmanship between the squadrons competing, it was decided that the values of heritage and unity would be imparted on the day” Between the complex layouts, the pilots sat down to hear the story of Raanan Eliran, a helicopter pilot who fell into Egyptian captivity in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and who, upon his release, returned to flying and even took part in rescues during the First Lebanon War. “This year, it was decided that there would not be just a day for the squadrons”, explained Captain E’. “Rather we dedicated this day to the unity of the division”.

 

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