All year long, the Cargo Formations of the IAF are ready to deal with complicated scenarios like rescue missions and evacuation missions as well as transporting ground forces. Once a year, the formations gather in order to test which formation is the most qualified formation of the Force
Every year, the Black Hawk and the Sikorsky formations of the IAF wait for the Cargo Competition, where each will have to prove how qualified they are and try and become the best Cargo Formation of the IAF. This year, the formations faced very complex missions in the so called ‘Cargo Olympics’. “We were all under a lot of time pressure time”, says Captain I’ who is responsible for the instructional parts of the competition. “In almost every takeoff, the teams dealt with unexpected scenarios. These are the things that the formations deal with everyday”.
Under pressures of time, the pilots had to face a rescuing mission of two abandoned pilots, evacuate injured people, avoid aerial threats, and conduct precise landings out on the field. “The competition’s level was very high and the outlines were almost intractable”, smiled Captain C’ of the “Nocturnal Birds Squadron”. “We were on time but we could still feel the competitiveness”. On Sunday the formation dealt with a similar scenario that the competition’s participants had to face when they took part in a rescue mission of the F-16I pilots who ejected from the airplane during training session
Although the competition is usually composed of challenges that give a sportive feel between the competitors, this year it was decided to discuss a few of the force’s values about legacies and unity: Between the complicated layouts and takeoffs the pilots listened to the story of Raanan Elran , a helicopter pilot who was taken hostage by the Egyptians during the Yom Kippur War. After he was released he continued flying and even participated in the Lebanon War. “We made this a unification day for the entire formation”.