The Hornet Squadron’s unexpected exercise

Technicians of the Hornet Squadron training in Ovda Airbase The Hornet Squadron’s unexpected exercise

“preperation will help us in times of emergency” The Hornet Squadron’s unexpected exercise

“This kind of exercise is surprising and different- it takes people out of their comfort zone” The Hornet Squadron’s unexpected exercise

“I’m obligated to be on top of my game, focused and prepared” The Hornet Squadron’s unexpected exercise

Very often, aerial team members find themselves in the midst of unexpected operations During emergency times IAF formations have to operate in unfamiliar areas and be prepared for any possible scenario. Last week, the “Hornet” Squadron conducted an unexpected exercise where unknown missions were their worst enemy

Shir Golan| Photography: Lior Kestner

Many times aerial team members find themselves in the midst of unexpected operations around somewhat familiar areas, as surprising obstacles wait in various places. And so, in order prepare for the unknown, aerial teams of the “Hornet” Formation headed out to Ovda Airbase where they hada week of unexpected training sessions which can be summarized with one word- uncertainty. As expected, the aerial team members took off into an unconventional mission: early in the morning, as they waited for their daily briefing, one helicopter aerial team was rushed to takeoff. Confused and surprised they headed down to the helicopter lane and prepared to complete the given mission. Meanwhile, members of the formation who stayed on land received another order: navigating to a certain location around the base.

Hours later, the teams reunited once again: Their mission on combat helicopters has come to an end at the location where the other pilots had to get to by foot. Little did they know that another surprise waited: Their previous mission was switched, whoever navigated up in the air will be navigating on land and vice versa. The pilots are required to handle short term landings and takeoffs and check the aircraft thoroughly before heading out. “It felt different to receive the aircraft from the previous crew and immediately start preparing for takeoff. In this situation I’m obligated to be on top of my game, focused and prepared to operate in a whole different manner”, says First Lieutenant Yair, of the aerial team in the formation.

During the unique week aerial team practiced different missions which were given with no former notification . “Usually we go through a briefing before taking off, receive our equipment and the helicopter in a very organized manner”, explains Lieutenant Colonel Dror, Commander of the “Hornet” Squadron. “This kind of exercise is surprising and different- it takes people out of their comfort zone. It expands their thinking abilities and opens their minds to different things which they can learn from. This exercise gives us a lot of advantage and knowledge about operational activity and how to optimize our chances in times of emergency”.

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