Helicopters aircrews who graduated flight school last December took part in a special “Ground Workshop”. They experienced tank shooting and drove D9 bulldozers
Talya Yariv | Translation: Eden Sharon
Aircrews from the operational training course of the helicopters and transport formations arrived at the Northern Golan Heights to take part in a “ground workshop” led by the Cooperation Unit. They were also joined by air patrollers and airborne mechanics, also in training. Together they removed the overalls and donned green uniforms, which will later be mudded in the northern heights.
Unlike the “ground workshop” of the UAV and combat formations, transport and helicopters pilots must have a much broader familiarity with the ground forces because their work includes direct cooperation with ground units.
The cadets learnt about the IDF’s organizational structure, ground fighting methods, the challenges of the ground forces and the IAF liaison officers in the different ground headquarters.
“Our cooperation is highly important”, said Lieutenant Colonel Hanoch Dauba, Armored Corps Battalion Commander, to the cadets. “We trust that when we operate with you, we would know you’re doing your best to evacuate our injured soldiers and to assist us. Thanks to you we can promise our soldiers that we will get them home safe and sound”.
The IAF participants experienced firing different weapons, including shooting from a tank and even joined an infantry unit. They were intrigued, asked many questions and were interested in the commanders’ stories from Operation “Protective Edge”.
“There is a big difference between the ground workshops”, said Captain Gabriel Palma from the Cooperation Instructional Center, leader of the workshop on behalf of the Cooperation Unit. “The cadets want to be connected to the ground forces and have a thirst for knowledge. Beyond the lessons and explanations, they see the combat soldiers on the ground and form the real connection there”.
“Dealing with the different weapons and vehicles helped me understand the ground forces and their limitations”, said Lieutenant Amit, an aircrew member from the “Hornet” squadron operating “Apache Longbow”. “You sit in a tank for the first time and you realize they can’t see anything. You understand how the forces are dispatched in the field and how difficult it is for them to direct us to our destination while under fire. It gives you a thorough understanding regarding the need of the forces on the ground”.