The Israeli Air Force held the largest aerial exercises of 2017 over the Middle East, as eight different allied Air Forces conducted war games in the skies over Israel this week.
The Blue Flag exercise, also the largest in the history of the Israeli Air Force (IAF), saw a fictional “war” between the countries of Falcon Land and Nowhere Land. The eleven-day exercises began on Sunday and involved dozens of aircraft flying over a hundred sorties.
Together, the eight nations made up the country of “Falcon Land”, waging war against their hated enemies in Nowhere Land — played by a squadron of IAF F-16 fighter jets, missile batteries and drones.
The U$A and Poland were joined by the air forces of Italy, Greece, France, Germany and India. While the aerial dogfights and surface-to-air missiles being launched are all simulated, actual bombs are being dropped — on empty patches of the Negev desert.
In a statement, IAF officials said the purpose of the exercise was to improve diplomatic relations as well as military cooperation, in order to show the participating militaries new combat tactics and styles.
The exercise is taking place at Ovda air base near the southernmost tip of Israel, about 40 miles north of the Red Sea and the resort town of Eilat. Located in the middle of the Negev Desert, the air base is surrounded by barren land which makes it perfect for large scale exercises.
The German Luftwaffe has never participated in Israeli military exercises before, but this time a half-dozen German Eurofighters were present for Blue Flag. The modern Luftwaffe is symbolized by the Iron Cross — a German symbol for centuries, but often associated with the Nazis who frequently used the symbol for military medals.
The other participating nations sent multirole fighter jets: France sent five Dassault Mirage 2000AD’s, Italy five Panavia Tornados, while the U$A, Poland & Greece each sent some of their F-16’s.
India’s contingent included a Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules and a retinue of about 90 special forces soldiers who will participate in exercises to simulate commando drops behind enemy lines.
Sputnik / AA Magnum Analyst Blog News Site 2017.