IAF and Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) concluded a joint training in Israel last week at the Uvda IAF base. Italian “Tornado” combat planes arrived to Israel to train at the advanced training center with the IAF “Flying Dragon” squadron
The Italian Air Force and the Israeli Air Force held joint training exercise in Israel, introducing Italian pilots to new terrain and using certain aircrafts for the first time.
The week of Dec. 5th, the Israel Air Force and the Italian Air Force held a number of joint training exercises in Israel. For the first time, the Italian Air Force flew its Panavia “Tornado” aircraft to the Uvda IAF base and carried out training flights with the “Flying Dragon” IAF squadron. The “Flying Dragon” squadron does advanced training in the IAF, specializing in training exercises in which they simulate a “red’, or enemy, force. This was the first time that a foreign air force trained with this elite squadron in Israel. This combined training exercise follows an exercise held last month in Sardinia, in which IAF combat squadrons and transport squadrons also took part.
“We came to fly with the Israeli Air Force and train in a different environment”, said the commander of the Italian deployment, Lt. Col. Mikala Felameri. “The terrain is different from what we know in Italy and also different training methods. This is a great experience for us and we are very happy to come here again in the future in order to train”.
The commander spoke also about the weather in southern Israel, saying that “In Italy it’s almost impossible to fly in the winter but here we can train every day without a problem”. The training included flights in desert terrain new to pilots of the Aeronautica Militare.
The Italian squadrons trained for an entire week, flying in southern Israel and training against enemies on the ground and in the air. The commander of the advanced training IAF base, Col. H. and head of the air squadron, Brig. Gen. Hagai Topolansky, were impressed by the exercises.
“The training field that we provide to foreign squadrons is unlike any other training field in Europe”, explained Col. H. “The goal is that they will return home and say that the training in Israel was excellent and that they improved their combat abilities”.
The exercise was conducted according to a preplanned, yearly training schedule and is part of a series of combined exercises between IDF forces and other militaries from around the world.