IAF’s 190th squadron, ground forces practice multi-dimensional battle

The joint drill on Wednesday, which took place at the 210th regional division near the Syrian border, was attended by division commander Brig.-Gen. Roman Goffman.

IAF’s 190th squadron.  (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
IAF’s 190th squadron.
In another step to improve the interoperability between the ground forces and the Air Force, the IAF’s 190th Magic Touch helicopters squadron, and the 210th Bashan Division carried out a joint drill on Wednesday.
This comes as part of a cross-military effort to create a multi-dimensional battlefield, in which all fighting elements – from space through the air and ground to underground forces – so they will all “speak the same language,” understand the common goal and engage targets as quickly as possible.
The joint drill on Wednesday, which took place at the 210th regional division near the Syrian border, was attended by division commander Brig.-Gen. Roman Goffman. During the drill, both IAF personnel and the ground forces mutually visited the other in action. The division’s senior command went up in the air with the helicopters, and the pilots visited the war rooms and the observation posts.
The drill focused on two scenarios; the first is an attack that breaks out in the area and there is a need for all forces available to get as quickly as possible to the scene and engage the enemy.
Such a scenario happened not that long ago. In July, a Syrian-Iranian squad tried detonating an improvised explosive device (IED) near the Syrian border. The attack was thwarted after forces rushed to the scene and fired at the squad.
Although the threat wasn’t eliminated by a helicopter – a chopper did arrive at the scene and took part in the operation. The incident highlighted how the readiness of all different available forces was crucial to get the work done.
210th Division fire coordinator Lt.-Col D. told The Jerusalem Post that “in this case, we saw how one force arrived at the scene first, and then another one, and then the rest – and we finished it when we prevailed.
“This was a classic incident in which we had to connect between different elements,” he said. “If we’re talking about a multi-dimensional battle, this is an example for that. We had to connect the observation post on the ground with IAF forces in the air; connect the infantry battalions with the drone that is operating in the area; and all of that – in a short time of a breaking incident and to create a coherent image that all would abide by.”
The second scenario practiced was of an initiated attack against the enemy, and all elements in the battle practiced creating a mutual language and understanding of the objective.
Lt.-Col D. added that the mutual visits of the different elements, in this sense, helped in understanding the combat plan and made the joint force even stronger.
“When our commanders went up in the air with the helicopters they felt and saw what the pilots feel and see,” he said.
“When we talk about cooperation and joining hands – this is the highest level possible.
“I can say that the Fire Coordination department at the 210th Division is in a high level of connectivity with the IAF – and especially with the 190th Squadron,” he added.
190th Squadron commander Lt.-Col. Y., who was an integral part in leading the drill, told the Post that a major goal of this drill was not only to make the time of engagement with targets shorter, but also to create mutual trust between the forces in the air and on the ground.
“I try to create trust with the other side and make them feel that I am there for them whenever they need me,” he said.
“After creating this basic trust, we can put together mutual plans that will take the partnership forward and make us real partners, and not just an assisting force.”
By that, Lt.-Col. Y. implied that the helicopters’ ability in the battlefield can be multiplied when it is given the option to initiate, and this is the reason why these kinds of drills are crucial to improve the military’s combat abilities.
“Just like other ground forces – like the observation force and the holding force – have their ability to be independent on the ground to make their own choices, and to advise to the rest what should be done next, [the trust that is built in such drill] makes us more independent and more involved in a joint action,” he said.
Lt.-Col. Y. also talked about the firepower of the two helicopters that accompany a ground force and that it's equal to the firepower of an infantry battalion.
“The power of two helicopters is an enormous addition to a maneuvering force,” he said. “Every shell is like a grenade. Fifty shells in three seconds is a significant help to a company commander on the ground.”