Israeli Air Force to hold multinational air training exercise
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) is readying to conduct a joint training exercise, code named Blue Plug, with foreign air forces in the coming months, an unidentified IAF official has revealed.
Without disclosing the participants' names and exercise schedule, the official was quoted by Channel 2 television as saying that for the first time the drills will feature more than 100 fighter aircraft from different countries.
Another IAF official, who is also one of the supervisors of the exercise, said: "Dozens of planes from different countries will fly here...it will be one of the most qualitative exercises for air forces in the world."
Participants will practise air-to-air combat and dropping ammunition, while also conducting low-altitude flights during Blue Plug, which is considered as the largest air training exercise to be carried out in Israel.
IAF's 115 Squadron, also known as the Flying Dragon or Red Squadron, is scheduled to simulate the air force of hostile Arab nations during the exercise.
Commenting on the drill, Red Squadron deputy head said: "We do not rely on other armies but I believe, if we require cooperation, the exercise can only aid us in creating a common language with the rest of the world."
Citing the news channel, The Jerusalem Post reported that the air force is currently making arrangements for the exercise throughout all Israeli air bases.
IAF's combat squadrons have recently participated in joint exercises in Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece, in addition to the Middle East and Balkan Peninsula, in an effort to maintain operational readiness against enemy attacks.