“The goal was to step outside of the box”
An F-16 takes off in the northern area
Ramat David combat squadrons joined forces for an exercise
A continuous flow of people move in and out of the F-16’Valley’ squadron’s operational room. You could easily notice a few Apaches, green and blue overalls and all kinds of pins: All Ramat David squadrons including technicians, navigators and pilots have joined a combined exercise that took place in the northern area this past week.
“This week will answer both of our needs simultaneously”, says Lieutenant Colonel N’, commander of the Valley squadron. “The first is to train in the most operational manner that can simulate reality, and the second is to do it in around the northern area. Among other things, the exercise was meant to force us to step out of the box and put aside the basic training schedules”. In order to create an authentic environment that feels like the operational field, the training included several batteries that simulated Surface to Air missiles fired toward the squadrons. “Red” air crew units joined them in every takeoff in order to simulate advanced enemy aircrafts.
The collaborative training was a mission on its own. Each combat squadron has its own rules, norms, and aircrafts. Major Ohad says, for example, that a “Knights of the North” pilot who is used to flying in a one-seated airplane has to deal with another pair of hands in the cockpit when taking off in a two-seated F-16. “When someone isn’t used to flying with a navigator, it’s much more difficult”, he says. “Every squadron has its own specialty. At the end of the day, each one completes its own mission”.