A number of IAF squadrons and a variety of aircraft took part in the intricate airlifting exercise A special airlifting training exercise was recently held by the IAF and “Maglan” Special Forces Unit. Among the participating aircraft was the new C-130J, which airlifted an entire unit. A glance at the special cooperation
Talya Yariv & David Greenwald | Translation: Eden Sharon
IAF and “Maglan” Special Forces Unit recently joined forces for a complex training exercise, during which the infantry was airlifted to several locations in central and southern Israel and practiced a week of continuous fighting against enemy forces approaching from the north.
A number of IAF squadrons and a variety of aircraft took part in the intricate airlifting exercise, including the two new C-130Js of the “Elephant” squadron, which participated in an operational airlifting for the first time. “The exercise went off without a hitch”, said Major S, Squadron Deputy Commander. “We were well-prepared and the advanced airplane allowed us to meet the demands of the unit – demands we considered imaginary before”.
Practicing Unpredictable Events
The “Maglan” soldiers were flown by the C-130 Hercules and the new C-130J to a landing point where they were picked up by a number of Black Hawk and Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters and taken to a second landing point – a process that was repeated throughout the week. “‘Maglan’ unit always has to maintain a level of operational versatility, both aerial and naval, but this exercise focused on aerial mobility”, explained Lieutenant Colonel A, the IAF representative in the IDF 98th Paratroopers Division (which includes “Maglan”), who was among the organizers of the exercise.
The exercise also included the element of surprise: The “Maglan” combat soldiers were informed of the details of the exercise only moments before it started and were deliberately given false information. In addition, the soldiers were dispatched a number of days before the date they were actually told and were flown to a different, unknown destination – all that in order to simulate real warfare as much as possible, a situation where the soldiers will have only a little time to plan their moves. “To create a high-quality exercise, we also caused deliberate complications on the part of the squadrons”, said Captain S, the officer in charge of ground exercises in the IAF cooperation unit. “We changed the number of boarding soldiers and did not provide the squadron with data it was supposed to receive weeks in advance”.