IAF Cooperation Unit and many IAF squadrons recently joined an infantry training exercise of an IDF’s Reserve Armored Division in the Golan Heights. The “Shimshon” C-130J practiced massive airdrops for the ground forces for the first time
Talya Yariv &EilonTohar | Translation: Liran Ackerman
The high temperatures in the Golan Heights did not disrupt the divisional training exercise of IDF’s Reserve Armored Division – one of the largest air-ground training exercises that were held recently. IAF Cooperation Unit was involved in the exercise from the planning stage, all the way to the execution in the field.
Major General Amir Eshel, IAF Commander, has also arrived at the scene and visited the air-ground coordination center. Maj. Gen. Eshel was debriefed by the aerial coordination officer and the center commander. Brigadier General Ofek Buchris, the Division commander, also met with the IAF commander and has debriefed him. The main issues that were discussed were the border defense challenge and the cooperation between the IAF and the infantry divisions.
During the training exercise, the heavy transport aircraft – the “Karnaf” (Hercules C-130) and the “Shimshon” (Hercules C-130J) – were used to practice airdrops to the ground forces. That was the first time that the “Elephants” squadron practiced massive airdrop with the new C-130J which landed in Israel a year ago.
“The Shimshon C-130J transport aircraft has participated in the drop of a large amount of medical equipment, food and ammunition, this was the first time the ‘Elephants’ squadron has practiced a massive drop off with the new ‘Shimshon’”, said Lieutenant Yuval, the leader of the exercise on behalf of the squadron.
“The exercise simulates a scenario in which the forces are fighting for a long time, their ammunition is rapidly running out and there is no possibility to reequip them through the ground. This is where we enter the scene – IAFaircraft land in the air strips previously prepared by the Frontal Landing Unit and the loading inspectors quickly unload the equipment “.
“The results will be manifested in next campaigns”
The Division changed its military designation a year ago and was reestablished to focus on preventative activity and overall security missions. This was the first time the division, in its new form, participated in such exercise with the IAF attack helicopter division.
“It is important as a division that has just changed its purpose, it will fully cooperate with the attack helicopter squadrons similarly to older divisions in the IDF”, said Captain Elron, Deputy Commander of the Apache “Magic Touch” Attack Helicopter Squadron.
“In present time, the main and most relevant mission of the Attack Helicopters is assisting ground forces. We have increased the amount of training related to this mission and we expect the results will be manifested in next campaigns”.