IAF Pilots Train With Pakistan, UAE Peers in US Red Flag Drill
JNS.org — Israeli Air Force pilots recently had a unique opportunity to train alongside their Pakistani and Emirati colleagues, as part of an international exercise held in the United States, Israel Hayom learned Thursday.
An IAF mission to the Nellis Air Force base in Nevada participated in the prestigious Red Flag advanced combat training exercise, which took place between August 15 and 26, alongside the US, Spanish, Pakistani and Emirati air forces.
Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates have no diplomatic ties with Israel.
The annual Red Flag drill has been held for 41 years, set in place as part of the US Air Force’s conclusions about its performance during the Vietnam War.
Traditionally, the participating squadrons are assigned to “red” and “blue” forces, with the American squadron acting as an enemy — “red” — force. The aircrews practice engagement and interception, striking targets, rescue and recovery missions and intelligence gathering.
This was the second consecutive year in which the IAF was invited to participate in Red Flag, sending eight Israeli F-16I Sufa fighter jets, along with several refueling planes.
A senior IAF official told Israel Hayom that “participating in this exercise is very significant. It affords us the opportunity to both train our pilots in the best way possible and bolster our cooperation with the United States.”