Israeli Air Force Delegation Arrives in Germany for First-Ever Joint Exercises, Dachau Flyover
An Israeli Air Force delegation landed in Germany on Monday to conduct joint exercises in a historical first for the two countries.
This is history.
The moment the Israeli Air Force, led by Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, entered into German airspace for the first time ever & was welcomed by the Luftwaffe Commander, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhatz: pic.twitter.com/CSkFBXnkzE
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 17, 2020
The IAF said in a statement that due to the coronavirus pandemic, this would be the only international exercise it would hold this year, and its purpose was intended to “continue enhancing the IAF’s capabilities, maintain its readiness to face various scenarios, and to continue strengthening its bonds and cooperation with allied air forces.”
Acknowledging the complex historical relationship between Israel and Germany, a joint flyby was to take place on Tuesday in which Israeli and German fighter jets would fly over the site of the Dachau concentration camp in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
The fighters will also fly over the Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base, the site where 9 of the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre were killed.
Following the flyby, there will be an official ceremony at Dachau attended by the German minister of defense and Israeli ambassador to Germany, among other officials. An IAF deputy squadron commander who is the grandson of a Dachau survivor will speak.
Last week, in the run-up to the exercise, IAF Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin met with Holocaust survivors and was given a belt belonging to Pesach Smieleg, who survived Dachau.
Norkin will carry the belt onboard during the flyover as “a symbol of remembrance and resurrection.”
Yesterday, ahead of the upcoming IAF exercise and historic flight in Germany, IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin held a special meeting with Holocaust survivors. pic.twitter.com/AMaSwapVSe
— Israeli Air Force (@IAFsite) August 15, 2020