For a whole week, young helicopter pilots, UAV operators, and aerial support staff joined ground forces in learning about fighting on the joint battlefield. When they looked through the sight of their guns and the turrets of their tanks, they discovered how the area looks through the eyes of a combat soldier on the ground
Last week, the “Rattlesnake” battalion of the paratroopers, which these days guards the northern region were joined by new soldiers: IAF soldiers, who arrived for a training session in the Golan Heights in order to familiarize themselves with the world of the ground forces, with whom the work so closely.
For Field Week, young helicopter pilots in training from the “Dessert Bird” squadron, cadets from the mechanics course, UAV operators and even an aerial crew member, all came to switch with the ground forces. “Our main goal this week is to provide the cadets with a more scholarly perspective on how the battlefield looks from the angle of the ground forces”, explained Major Arik Krauthammer, head of the ground forces section in the Cooperation Unit and himself a former ground force combat soldier. “When they learn these things in an air-conditioned room, it’s hard to really understand. When we take them to the battlefield itself and when put them in a situation similar to that of the ground forces, the experience becomes a lot more tangible.”
Field Week, which is held once every half a year, is part of a significant process on the part of the Cooperation Unit to strengthen relations with the ground forces. For the first time, UAV operators and aerial crew members also took part in Field Week, so that they too could be exposed to the essence of the work of the combat soldiers in the field, and to give them glimpse of the battlefield. “We can feel the importance of the UAV division in Field Week”, explains Major Krauthammer. “All air forces are partners in warfare during ground combat, and so it’s important that all the divisions take part in Field Week and that they see up-close the different jobs in the field”.