Cargo plane with military equipment lands at Ramon Airport

The plane landing shows that the airport can receive military and civilian equipment and aid in the case of emergencies.

Cargo plane with military equipment lands at Ramon Airport (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Cargo plane with military equipment lands at Ramon Airport
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
A cargo plane with US military equipment landed at Ramon Airport on Thursday for the first time, showing that the airport can receive military and civilian equipment and aid in the case of emergencies.
The operation of preparing the airport and landing the first cargo plane, was completed following several months of logistical and operational preparation and collaboration between the Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP) at the Defense Ministry, the IDF and the Israel Airports Authority.
It took place in the framework of the joint Israeli-American Juniper Cobra military exercise despite the cancellation of the drill “in light of the importance of preparing an additional airport for the reception of international aid,” the ministry said in a statement.
Since the airport opened last year, the Ramon Airport – named after Ilan and Assaf Ramon – has served as a substitute for Ben Gurion Airport in both routine and emergency scenarios to receive international assistance.
According to the ministry, the “preparation of Ramon Airport to receive air lifted equipment constitutes the significant strengthening of the State of Israel’s preparedness to face military and civilian emergency scenarios.”
The cargo plane, a 747-400, was leased by DOPP and took a direct flight from New York’s JFK airport to Ramon airport in Eilat carrying dozens of tons of military equipment. The equipment was acquired by the Defense Ministry’s Mission to the US.
The aircraft was received by IDF troops from the Technological and Logistics Directorate who subsequently transferred the equipment to various IDF units.
“We have concluded a long and complex operation together with the IDF and the Airports Authority. This is the first time that the Defense Ministry has landed a cargo plane with military equipment from the US in Ramon airport near Eilat,” said the directorate’s deputy director, Shai Halperin. “Today, we have another airport, aside from Ben Gurion, which is prepared to receive international aid and equipment, both in military and civilian emergency scenarios. We see great importance in having achieved this capability, especially these days, and in the face of the challenges that may lay ahead.”
Cargo plane with military equipment lands at Ramon Airport (Credit: Defense Ministry)Cargo plane with military equipment lands at Ramon Airport (Credit: Defense Ministry)
The 10th bi-annual Juniper Cobra exercise between the IDF and the United States Europe Command (EUCOM) was suspended last week as fears over the coronavirus continues to rattle Israel and the world.
The 10-day long drill was scheduled to see over 2,500 US troops participating in several different locations – in Israel, Europe and the United States. The troops were supposed to have trained alongside 1,000 Israeli Aerial Defense troops, logistics units, medical forces, and additional IDF units.
The exercise was to have simulated a scenario in which American forces will be deployed to Israel in order to work alongside the IDF’s air defense force. The troops would have practiced possible scenarios of missile threats in various sectors, with simulations of the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 missile defense systems, an advanced version of the Iron Dome and the David Sling system, as well as a ballistic image management center, in collaboration with the Home Front Command.