After nearly two weeks of intense training over the skies of Germany, Israeli Air Force (IAF) and the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, concluded a joint exercise, according to a statement by IDF Spokesperson Unit.
The exercise is the only air exercise that the IAF intended to carry out with a foreign military during the coronavirus outbreak, suggesting the importance that both militaries attach to the event.
The exercise, called "MAG Days," is a quadrennial event designed to maintain NATO's operational readiness.
IAF participated for the first time in the exercise, sending F-16 "Barak" (lightning) jet fighters, a Boeing 707 "Ram" (Oryx) air-refueling plane, and Gulf-stream V "Eitam" (Sea eagle) aerial command and control plane from the 105th
("Scorpion Squadron"), the 101st ("First Fighter Squadron"), the 122nd ("Nahshon Squadron") and the 120th ("Desert Giants") squadrons.
Apart from the IAF, the Hungarian Air Force also took part in the exercise, sending its JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets.
During the exercise, the pilots simulated dozens of dogfights, air to ground sorties, countering threats posed by surface-to-air (SAM) missiles in addition to many other combat scenarios.
The pilots trained "shoulder to shoulder," according to IDF's statement.
Head of IAF Air Division, Brig.-Gen. Amir Lazar praised the significance of the event, saying that "this is a major deployment in IAF's history, perhaps even for the German Air Force as well."
According to the IDF, all exercise objectives were successfully met.
The "Scorpion Squadron" commander, who cannot be identified by his full name due to information security reasons, referred to the complex history that Israel and Germany share: "75 years after the darkest period in the history of the nations, the Jewish and German, 75 years after the liberation of Dachau concentration camp - fighter jets from both nations flew one next to another... over the same camp."