IAF hosts largest-ever ‘Blue Flag’ aerial exercise
An 11 day Blue Flag drill set to be the largest aerial exercise hosted by Israel is being hosted by the IAF in southern Israel, bringing together air forces from seven different countries, set to be the largest aerial drill hosted by Israel.
TPS|Ynet | 05.11.17
Delegations from seven visiting air forces—Greece, Poland, Italy, USA and for the first time also India, France and Germany—on Sunday began Blue Flag 2017, the biggest ever version of the Blue Flag bi-annual joint military exercisehosted by Israel.
Close to 100 aircraft and more than a thousand support crew and pilots from seven different air forces will take part in the 11-day drill taking place in IAF’s Ovda Base north of Eilat, while officers and attaches from nearly 40 other countries are expected to attend the exercise which the Israel Air Force has described as aiming to “simulate extreme combat scenarios and coalition flights as realistically as possible.”
Dr. Eran Lerman of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the exercise shows the importance and quality of the IAF and exposes it to the methods of other air forces, but added that its strategic importance was first and foremost in the symbolic participation of pilots from several countries with whom strategic, diplomatic and security relations are getting stronger and stronger.