20.02.2014 Shani Pomes - IAF
A special parachuting zone that will serve ground troops was inaugurated at Nevatim airbase. The new zone will reduce flight times and in so doing, will save money on future training costs. "The use of parachuting capabilities will be a surprise in terms of place, time and technique"
One of the most familiar capabilities of the Hercules C-130 is the airdropping of paratroops. A new parachuting zone, which will strengthen the ties between ground forces and the IAF, was inaugurated at Nevatim airbase in the Negev, the home of the Hercules C-130 planes.
"The parachuting zone that we are inaugurating will be called "Machbesh" (Hebrew for steamroller) named after the parachuting operation executed at the Mitle Pass during the Sinai campaign in 1956", explained Brigadier General Lihu Hacohen, commander of the Nevatim airbase. "The inauguration of this parachuting zone presents a big opportunity for improvement in the parachuting training in the IDF. But beyond that, it gives the army more avenues for tightening the cooperation between ground forces and the IAF".
"It's so relevant"
The inauguration began with a flyover of Hercules C-130 planes that flew from the horizon towards the guests attending the ceremony. On board were Infantry and Paratrooper Officer Chief, Brigadier General Itai Virov and Brigadier General Amir Baram, the "Fire Division" Commander. Together with additional paratroopers, they demonstrated a parachuting in the new parachuting zone.
Afterwards, Red Brigade paratroopers and the parachuting course instructors jumped, providing the audience with an image of the future of the landing strip and the tightening relations.
"The use of parachuting seems archaic to quite a few people and that's why it's so relevant", said Brigadier General Virov. "The use of parachuting capabilities will be a surprise in terms of place, time and technique. I think that we are building together a tool that has the ability to produce the next surprise or the next decision".
The purpose of the move is to shorten the flight path of parachuting planes: until now, the Hercules C-130 planes left their home base at Nevatim, picked the paratroopers up at the Tel Nof airbase, which is next to the Flying and Special Training Center, airdropped them at the parachuting zone in Palmachim and returned to Nevatim. The new parachuting zone will shorten the journey and, in so doing, save money on future training costs.