One of the IAF indispensable capabilities for some of its missions is aerial refueling. Last week, the Boeing 707 aerial refueling aircraft met with the F-16C/D “Barak” fighter jets for a “special training exercise that stretched capabilities to the limit”
Noa Fenigstein & Shani Poms | Translation: Eden Sharon
Aerial activities outside Israel’s borders demand an affective and ongoing cooperation between the transport and combat formations, which together constitute the long arm of the IAF. This needful cooperation is made possible due to the Boeing 707 ability to refuel during flight, allowing the fighter jets to operate everywhere.
During last week, the Boing 707 “Desert Giants” squadron and the F-16C/D of the “First Jet” squadron flew an important training exercise.
“These capabilities are highly complex in terms of planning the fuel consumption and the actual execution in air”, explains Captain David of the “First Jet” squadron. “The main purpose of the practice is to enhance our cooperation as part of our specialization in aerial refueling”.
A very challenging mission is the protection of the Boeing 707 planes during aerial refueling. The F-16C/D aircrews skillfully maneuvered airstrikes and dogfights while providing cover for the aerial tankers.
Immense Effect on Other Squadrons
Following the training exercise, the aircrews of the “Desert Giants” squadron turned northward to Ramat-David airbase, home of the F-16C/D fighter jets, for another meeting, this time on the ground.
“We took part in a thorough debriefing, when our goal was to ask as many questions as possible”, says Lieutenant Raz. “We gradually learn how to improve our operational capabilities and the meeting is fruitful for both squadrons”.
Direct connection strengthens the personal communication between aircrews, which contributes to the success of the mission.
“Meeting face-to-face is essential for improving the cooperation between the squadrons”, determines Captain David.
“We learn new methods and implement them in our practices”, adds Lieutenant Raz who emphasizes the operational influence of the joint exercise. “The effect on other combat squadrons is immense”.