The Israel Air Force (IAF) has launched a ‘surprise format exercise’ to improve combat readiness in the Northern Theatre.

Called Vered Hagalil (Galilee Rose), the force-wide annual exercise began on 14 February and will run until 17 February. It commenced a week ahead of the original date.

The exercise is being conducted under the order of the IAF commander major general Amikam Norkin.

Head of training lieutenant colonel ‘O’ said: “The first day focused mainly on planning and preparing for a war-time scenario, while days two and three will be dedicated to around-the-clock fighting.

“The final day will be centred around defending Israel’s airspace.”

It will simulate combat scenarios and train the Israeli Air Force’s divisions in maintaining air supremacy, defending the country’s airspace, and missions such as attack and reconnaissance.

Furthermore, the exercise will evaluate capabilities such as planning, control, execution as well as end-to-end logistics and technological of the airforce.

O added: “One of the main aspects that differentiate between war and training, is unpredictability.

“The element of surprise is expressed in the ability to adapt plans to a changing reality. It also reflects the way in which we deal with the mental-psychological challenges of uncertainty”.

Last August, the Israeli Air Force conducted its first joint military exercise in German airspace, a move that further strengthens cooperation between the two countries.