Watch: IAF, Special Ops complete joint 'Game of Thrones' drill in Cyprus

Preparing for winter: commando units and IAF planes working together simulated scenarios of guerrilla warfare in a northern-Israel style terrain.

Special Ops soldiers boarding a cargo plane as part of the "Game of Thrones" joint drill. 06.12.19 (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Special Ops soldiers boarding a cargo plane as part of the "Game of Thrones" joint drill. 06.12.19
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
A week-long international drill involving commandos and the IAF, named Operation Game of Thrones, ended on Thursday in Cyprus, a spokesperson for the IDF said.
Among those who participated were
special ops fighters from the Egoz, Maglan and "Duvdevan" units, assault helicopter squadrons, transport helicopter squadrons, drone squadrons, one simulated enemy flight squadron and the Special Rescue Tactical Unit (Battalion 669).
During the drill, commandos and IAF pilots practiced mission-oriented training in the face of threats in an unfamiliar arena in northern-Israel region-based combat scenarios. The drill had IDF and IAF soldiers practicing a wide range of activities including: short single-night raids; combat in hilly, dense and complex terrain; attacking enemy infrastructure; ground force aerial transport; ground force aerial targeting assistance; dropping supplies mid-flight; refueling of helicopters; rescuing abandoned pilots; and evacuating of injured personnel, all the while fighting simulated enemy forces.

During the week, as a side exercise, the commando units, pilots and IAF forces also trained with Cyprus Army soldiers to improve the operational competence of the forces and promote joint learning.
“The combination that was implemented in the exercise between the IAF and the commando units – two bodies that lead the world of joint combat in all terrains and scenarios – has enabled increased effectiveness in multi-branch military maneuvering,” the spokesperson said.
During the week, IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi visited the drill area in Cyprus to watch the combat troops in the field, and talk with the unit commanders about operational issues and challenges that come with an operation so deep beyond enemy lines. In addition, he met with his counterpart in the Cyprus Army, the chief of the National Guard of the Cyprus Army, Maj.-Gen. Elias Leontaris.
The IDF spokesperson said that “the commandos and the Air Force are constantly training and improving at different reference scenarios in joint exercises and missions, both within and outside the State of Israel, in order to be prepared for the challenges they will face in all possible combat arenas and scenarios.”
Palmahim Base Commander Brig.-Gen. Yoav Amiram summarized the week, saying, “It was a complex drill in challenging terrain and weather. In the exercise, the deep partnership of the commandos and the Air Force squadrons was reflected. I was impressed to see their ability to exert deadly and precise force far from the shores of the country.”
Special Operations Commander Lt.-Brig. Kobi Heller also spoke after the drill, saying: “We have completed a unique kind of training, outside the borders of the State of Israel. The exercise included a variety of tasks and scenarios of action, which resulted in the maturation of operational capabilities and processes, which started developing four years ago.
He added, “We emphasized the importance of accuracy and knowing every in-depth detail, but above all, the personal ability of the fighters was the true focus. This drill demonstrated a high level of professionalism and a close, high quality level of collaboration with the Air Force. The exercise showed our developing operational capability, our complete concept of our operations, our developing capabilities in the world of enemy exposure and, of course, fatalities to be able to destroy the enemy at higher rates than before.”