Who will be the Champion of the Combat Formation? Just like every year, the competitive and stressful feeling roams around in the air around the combat squadron bases before the big opening of the annual race. Head to head, they competed in various combat missions while dodging enemy fire. Which combat squadron will earn the desired title of champion?
Shani Poms, Shir Cohen, Michal Khayut
The large annual combat formation championship has begun and the atmosphere around the bases is no less than stressful. They are all competing for the prestigious title: 2013 Best Combat Formation. “Before the annual race we prepared all the airplanes the best way possible”, said Captain Alon Malachi, Ammunition officer of the “Scorpion” Squadron which operates on F-16d airplanes. “We went over some layouts with the aerial crews a few days before the race. The aerial teams didn’t rest either; they were very tense before the opening shot of the competition. “The ambience was very competitive, but we’re still not sure of the results”, explains First lieutenant Asaf, a navigator in the squadron. “No one competes for the second place, we hope for the best result”.
The “Knights of the Twin Tail”, an F-15 Squadron from Tel Nof Airbase, isn’t planning on giving up the trophy. “Everyone wants to win”, states First Lieutenant Omer, a navigator of the squadron. “During the day we took the layout very seriously, just as we do on the field. Every aerial team in the formation was ready to win the layout. We had very impressive achievements: lots of direct hits, and no droppings”.
Some the Force’s formations weren’t so bent on winning first place: Aerial teams of the red squadron- “The Flying Dragon” were posing as enemy aircrafts during the race’s layouts and tried taking down the competing airplanes. “We were posing as MiG airplanes. The blue squadrons had to defend itself from us and take us down”, explained captain Omer of the aerial team in the squadron. “In order to surprise them we make sure to show up in places they didn’t expect us in. Everyone is in a state of uncertainty and the entire mission could change up in the air”.
Who will be the champion? The instructional department is working on declaring the winner, but till the results of the big race arrive two long nerve wrecking weeks will pass. “It takes time to declare the winner”, explains Captain D’, of the combat operations unit, who was representative of the unit responsible for the competition. “Everything they do gets marked. The first thing they get scored for is if they succeeded in hitting the target, or dropped enemy airplanes”.