A new tradition: all IAF F-16 C/D (“Barak”) squadron joined forces for a concentrated training day. “After all, we are one big fighting unit that aims for the same goal”
Vered Talala & Shachar Zorani
All IAF F-16 C/D (“Barak”, Hebrew for lightning) combat squadrons recently joined for a first-of-its-kind training exercise with the object of enhancing the foundations of armament use and create mutual learning between squadrons. “It allows us to witness how a squadron with the same platform and capabilities as ours preforms its missions in a different way”, said Lieutenant M’ of the “First Fighter” squadron which led the exercise. “We learn and improve each squadron’s capabilities”.
Throughout the day, jets from all squadrons flew together and received the same debriefing before takeoffs and after landing. “After all, we are a one big fighting unit that aims for the same goal”, said Lieutenant Itay from the “Northern Knights” squadron in Ramat-David Airbase. “We fly together in times of emergency, but during routine it almost never happens and that is why these meetings are so important”.
Apart from improving professional capabilities, the joint training exercise is a chance for the air crews from all squadrons to deepen their connections. “We usually communicate by phone or E-mail”, noted Lieutenant Itay. “Training together forces us to meeting face to face and therefore improves cooperation and team work”.
Each squadron sent a number of air crew members and jets to the exercise, allowing a large-scale air defense training exercise. “With such a large number of jets, we can simulate complex scenarios we couldn’t have generated alone”, explained Lieutenant Itay.
The first F-16 C/D fighter jets joined the IAF 27 years ago and constitute a leading force in its combat squadrons ever since. Many of them are currently undergoing a process of renovation as part of the “Barak 2020” project which will soon be completed.