17.03.2014 Noa Fenigstein - IAF
Last week, aircrews from the "Desert Birds" squadron operating "Blackhawk" helicopters met with the Division handling Gaza Strip and discussed continued cooperation between the two sides on the volatile southern front. "The cooperation during the fighting would be better if we knew each other personally"
The "Knights of Round Table" were the military aides of King Arthur. The armor-wearing heroes sat around the round table and made decisions together with trust and equality.
Last week, aircrews from the "Desert Birds" squadron and the Gaza strip Division sat down together, in the tradition of the "Knights of the Round Table" and discussed tightening cooperation between both sides on the southern front.
The home of the "Desert Birds" is Hatzerim airbase and it is often called to missions on the border of the Gaza Strip with the Gaza Division. "Because we are a southern transport-helicopter squadron, the relationship with the Gaza Division forces includes daily interactions", explains Captain Itzik, a pilot in the "Desert Birds" squadron. "We feel that cooperation during fighting periods would be better if we knew each other personally".
"Usually, the Cooperation Unit of the IAF mediates between ground forces and helicopters squadrons", he adds. "But for the first time, we decided to establish direct contact. We received an intelligence briefing, talked about future cooperation and concentrated on lessons from recent events, face-to-face".
The cooperation between the Gaza Division and the "Desert Birds" squadron is extensive and its objectives diverse: from casualty evacuation to transporting combat forces to secret missions that cannot be disclosed. Recently, the two sides began cooperating on" surprise exercises", in which the participants had to execute missions under the psychological pressures at the moment of truth.
The squadron and the Division look forward to future cooperation. "Roundtable Discussions represent a change in communication between us", adds Captain Itzik. "Now that we plan together, there is a push to improve the process and not just the mission".