03.03.2015 Shani Poms / Eden Sharon - IAF
Aerial terrorism is always on the agenda and demands constant attention. IAF simulated various scenarios as part of a multiplayer training exercise
IAF soldiers took part in a large, multiplayer training exercise, which aimed to simulate a highly sensitive and complicated aerial terrorism scenario. It included a large number of participants, both from the IAF and outside of it. "This is the only training exercise training exercise that combines all units that take part in protecting Israel's skies - the IAF, IDF Operations Division, Department of Transportation and different Intelligence platforms", says Major Ilan from Aerial Defense Department in the IAF Operations Division.
Not once throughout the year, IAF's units and squadrons practice air defense scenarios in the face of aerial terrorism. Nevertheless, this time was different mainly because of the number of participants and the extreme scenarios involved. "The definition of aerial terrorism is actually an attempt to perform a terror attack using a civilian aircraft. It can be a small "Cessna", an executive jet or 400-seat airliner, which is defined as an extreme scenario", he says.
Aerial terrorism poses some unusual dilemmas. "The problem with these missions is the involvement of civilians. When you want to remove that kind of threat, people might be affected. The dilemmas with such scenarios are much more complex and therefore managed by higher-ranking officers".
It took three months of preparations which climaxed with a conference Call of the senior decision-making officers, including IAF Commander, IDF Chief of Staff and civilian government leaders. "The training exercise introduces the decision-makers with the missions, because the real-time decisions are complex and difficult", said Major Ilan. "The exercise was highly successful. Bring these scenarios into awareness is by itself extremely important".