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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:30
photo Talya Yariv - IDF

photo Talya Yariv - IDF


24.02.2015 Talya Yariv - IAF


Blue-Green Cooperation: Representatives from the IAF Cooperation Unit arrived at the IDF Paratroopers Training Base last week in order to train the infantry commanders for helicopters-involved missions


Commanders from the IDF Paratroopers Brigade took part in a training course conducted by the IAF Cooperation Unit representatives despite the heavy rain last week. The training course was attended by officers between the ranks of Second Lieutenant and Captain, and precedes the three months of training in which the paratroopers will also practice IAF-related scenarios.


Speaking the Same Language

The training began with an overview on helicopters and attack helicopter in order to familiarize the commanders with their missions and the pilots' ability to assist during battle. Afterwards, the commanders donned full battle gear and assembled at the firing ranges of the base. There they were trained in several different scenarios: directing attack helicopters during attack missions, directing helicopters for evacuations and loading stretchers onto helicopters while in enemy territory.

Directing a helicopter requires that each side have a clear understanding of situation, and the synchronization between the pilot and the soldiers on the ground is of the utmost importance. "This training is vital for the commanders", said Major A, Head of instruction Department in the IAF Cooperation Unit. "They must be familiar with the aircraft that could help them in times of need".


Learning While Experimenting

The relatively small number of participants - 20 for each battalion - allowed for a more personal approach. Each Platoon Commander or Company Commander was given the chance to direct or witness the process of directing an attack helicopter to a chosen point. The attack helicopters then flew to the indicated waypoint, while other "Black Hawk" helicopters practiced evacuations from enemy territory.

The IAF makes sure to draw conclusions from each and every operation, and the lessons that were learnt from Operation "Protective Edge" were included in the training. The organizers of the course utilized various videos from the operation and screened them throughout the practice.

photo Talya Yariv - IDFphoto Talya Yariv - IDF

photo Talya Yariv - IDF

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19 février 2014 3 19 /02 /février /2014 17:30
Picture "Scorpion" squadron

Picture "Scorpion" squadron


19.02.2014 Noami Tzoref - IAF


For the first time ever, the "Scorpion" squadron from the Hatzor airbase took part in a training exercise alongside the reconnaissance unit of the Paratrooper Brigade. In addition to the F-16C/D flights providing firepower assistance to ground forces, the aircrews also participated in planning targets and even took part in a ground raid exercise


The "Scorpion" squadron from the Hatzor airbase, which has been tightening its cooperation with the Paratrooper Brigade for a while, has taken this cooperation to a new level: the aircrews recently took part in ground exercises alongside the soldiers of the reconnaissance unit.


"This was the first time that we participated in every part of the exercise", explains First Lieutenant Assaf, the officer in charge of the cooperation in the squadron. "From the first moment we executed everything together. We examined the area together with officials from the brigade; we had an influence on the choice of targets and even took part in a ground combat exercise".

In addition to the firepower support provided by the F-16C/D fighters to the ground forces, the reconnaissance unit forces were also joined in a ground exercise by two other "guests": Lieutenant Colonel Tomer and First Lieutenant Assaf, who took off their G-suits and helmets and donned a camouflage ground-force uniform instead. "We had never experienced a ground exercise like a unit entrance into a certain area before and we were really impressed", he adds.


Although the aircrews and the soldiers from brigade already knew each other, this exercise was different from previous exercises, in terms of its purpose. "In recent months, we in the squadron, have been focusing on cooperation with the reconnaissance unit of the Paratrooper Brigade", explains First Lieutenant Assaf. "Unlike preparations for a war which breaks out suddenly, with the reconnaissance unit we train for specific operations in which we work together".


Between Two Worlds


The cooperation between the fighters squadrons and the infantry brigades continues to grow.

"It's a really eye-opening experience", explains First Lieutenant Assaf. "For example, the IAF can easily remove an obstacle standing in the way of ground forces and thus significantly shorten their journey".

On the other side of the two-way radio, there is also satisfaction with the cooperation being formed between both forces.


"I am very happy about the cooperation with the 'Scorpion' squadron", said Colonel Eliezer Toledano, commander of the Paratroopers Brigade, at the end of the exercise. "Although we are as far apart from one another as the ground and the sky and there is no shortage of gaps between us, we are nonetheless creating a common language between both worlds".

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