IAF A-4, F-16 jets at Hatzerim_370.
(photo credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen)
The Italian Air Force trained with the Israel Air Force in the South in recent
days, and drilled dog fights and aerial bombardments.
The Italian Air
Force flew Tornadoes and AMX fighter jets over the Negev desert during the
exercise, which is the third of its kind. They were joined by the IAF’s F-16
Hawks and F-15 Falcons.
Maj. Marco, head of the Italian training
squadron, said, “We have a lot of appreciation for the IAF, which is known for
its professionalism. To work together, we have to know the standards of one
Maj. Yiftah, deputy commander of the Israeli Flying Dragon
squadron that took part, explained that the first part of the drill saw the
Italian pilots dropping ordnance on surface targets, and dealing with surface-
to-air missile threats.
“The second part of the training was more
operational. We built a scenario, invented an enemy state, and the mission was
to attack the targets in it,” Yiftah said.
One of the advantages of
training over southern Israel is the ability to fly at low altitudes, Marco
said. “In Italy there are many crowded cities and built up areas, and therefore
we can’t do this. As a NATO member state, this experience definitely contributes
to our operational activities.”