German pilots drill aerial combat - and develop stamps

The German Luftwaffe's contingent to Israel during the Blue Flag drill that ended last week trained for complex aerial scenarios. It also developed its own set of stamps.

 Stamps developed by German pilots during their participation in the Blue Flag drill in October 2021. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Stamps developed by German pilots during their participation in the Blue Flag drill in October 2021.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

The German Luftwaffe's (Air Force's) contingent to Israel during the Blue Flag drill that ended last week developed its own set of stamps, a German pilot told Israeli media.

In preparation for the drill, the contingent prepared itself both militarily and culturally. They had a military Rabbi teach them some basics about Jewish life, and designed one of their fighter jets with the national flags of Israel and Germany, according to the Luftwaffe.

They also developed specialized stamps, in order to make sure that their letters home are sufficiently artistic.

"I am an old fashioned guy and I do write postcards back home to my mom and my wife from wherever I am in the world. And to do such, you need stamps," said Lieutenant Colonel Matthias Boehnke, spokesperson of the Luftwaffe and part of the German detachment at the Ovda Air Force Base during the drill. 

"So I came up with the idea of a special designed version," he said.

F-16 planes on the runway during the Blue Flag drill (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)F-16 planes on the runway during the Blue Flag drill (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Boehnke received help from the Director of the Eilat Branch POst Office, Karin Ankari. She assisted Boehnke in navigating the process in Hebrew online.

"It was really a pleasure for me helping out and I think this symbol on a stamp is a great sign of friendship," Ankari said.

"All of the stamps were distributed to the soldiers so that their moms could get a nice little postcard from Israel," she added. 

The fifth bi-annual Blue Flag exercise ended last week, with thousands of troops and dozens of aircraft from around the world taking part in the most advanced aerial drill ever held in the Jewish state.

During the drill, forces practiced aerial battle, as well as surface-to-air battle scenarios, advanced surface-to-air missile combat outlines in enemy territory, and more.

The exercise focused on broadening and enhancing the operational capabilities of the participating forces, with a focus on air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks, as well as evading ground-based air defense systems and various operational scenarios in enemy territory.