Foreign air force squadrons landed in the “Ouvda” Airbase in preparation for the large scale exercise, the “Blue-Flag”, which will be opened tomorrow
Eilon Tohar & Shachar Zorani | Translation: Ohad Zeltzer-Zubida
The “Blue-Flag” 2015 exercise, held for the second time, was opened today with the participation of American and other foreign Air Force squadrons in the “Ouvda” airbase in the Israeli Aravah Desert. The foreign squadrons will train alongside Israeli squadrons in one of the biggest exercises in IAF history which is also one of the focal points of collaboration between Israel and foreign Air Forces. The Polish Air Force Commander, Gen. Lech Majewski, landed today in Israel as the guest of the Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel and will arrive tomorrow at the “Ouvda” airbase in order to observe the exercise.
IAF teams analyzed the exercise that took place two years ago, the successes and the improvements that can be implemented. The “Blue-Flag” is defined as the IAF’s central training exercise this year, with the objective being a scenario in which the participants depart with general and specific conclusions regarding coping with the contemporary battlefield.
The purpose of the “Blue-Flag” exercise is to orchestrate different combat scenarios as realistically as possible. There is also an integration of additional forces besides fighter jets, amongst them are helicopters, airborne air-control and enemy infantry simulations. For the sake of the exercise, the “Flying Dragon” IAF aggressor squadron – which simulates enemy forces – have built a high quality training field which combines all of the challenges of operational activity in which the “red” (enemy) force is large and powerful.
Complex Scenarios in a Progressing Event
The exercise advances in a progressive format – each day is a direct continuance of the previous day – a format which is used in order to realistically resemble war. Each scenario affects both sides: the “red” side learns and improves, while the “blue” side is rewarded according to its actions.
The Israeli participants are two F-15 squadrons, two F-16I (“Sufa”) squadrons, two F16 C/D (“Barak”) squadrons, heavy transport squadrons, helicopters and electronic warfare. The number of participating aircraft and threats under the “red” squadron’s control is unprecedented in Israel.