Italian Air Force trains with IAF over South

Italians fly Tornadoes and AMX fighter jets, Israelis fly F-16 Hawks and F-15 Falcons in 3rd joint exercise of its kind.

IAF A-4, F-16 jets at Hatzerim_370 (photo credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen)
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 other.”
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.”