A ‘historic’ 2-week exercise between the Israeli Air Force and the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) has just concluded on 6th October. The exercise involved extensive manoeuvres and combat drills, along with highly symbolic flypasts.
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What made these exercises ‘historic’ is the fact that it was the first time when Israeli Air Force planes had landed on the German soil. The two air forces have previously engaged in Blue Flag exercises, which took place on the Israeli soil.
Informing about the successful conclusion of the exercise, the official handle of Eurofighter Typhoon tweeted, “For the first time ever, IAF soldiers have been allowed to land on German soil. The soldiers trained alongside the Luftwaffe for this year’s Blue Wings exercises.”
For the first time ever, @IAFsite soldiers have been allowed to land on German soil. The soldiers trained alongside @Team_Luftwaffe for this year’s Blue Wings exercises. More about this piece of history here: https://t.co/rG6lBJSURg Photo credit: Stefan Petersen/Bundeswehr pic.twitter.com/lKCSDwtAMi
— Eurofighter Typhoon (@eurofighter) October 6, 2020
Informing about the exercises, the Eurofighter handle also mentioned that both the air forces practised joint air operations during the first week, in the second the Israeli soldiers took part in the Multinational Air Group Days (MAG Days), which take place several times a year.
The operation allowed the Israeli pilots to get to know German airspace, which is a real contrast to the topography in Israel.
The two countries have been actively involved in the mournful remembrance and of the unfortunate anti-semitic Holocaust during World War 2, also called the “Shoah”- which saw the merciless murder of 6 million European Jews by the Third Reich.
German Air Force Inspector General, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz said: “After the crime of the Shoah against humanity, it is a moving sign of our friendship today that we are flying side by side with the Israeli Air Force for the first time in our history. Following the darkest chapter in German history, it is our mission today to fight anti-Semitism with consistency.”
“During the visit, a historic joint flight over Fürstenfeldbruck, the site of the 1972 Olympic bombing, took place. Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer also laid wreaths with the two Air Force Chiefs and the Israeli Ambassador at the Dachau concentration camp memorial site to commemorate the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime,” the press release said.
The Israeli contingent consisted of 6 F-16I “Sufa”, 2 Gulfstream G-550, and 1 Boeing 707 tanker aircraft at the home base of Luftwaffe Tactical Air Force Squadron 31 “Boelcke”, situated in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. The aircraft conducted training alongside German Eurofighter Typhoons.