Practicing Assistance to Ground Forces

Photo by: Talya Yariv

Practicing Assistance to Ground Forces

Photo by: Talya Yariv

Practicing Assistance to Ground Forces

Photo by: Talya Yariv

Combat Pilots in the Advance Training Courses arrived in the Golan Heights last week to learn about the missions of IDF ground forces in the region and experience using ground weapons
Talya Yariv

Combat pilots currently in the Advanced Training Course (ATC) of the “Flying Tiger” Squadron arrived at the Golan Heights in Northern Israel for a ground workshop led by the IAF Cooperation Unit. In the workshop, the ATC cadets, who graduated from the pilot course six months ago and are now in the midst of operational training, got to thoroughly learn about IDF ground branch for the first time. They listened to lectures on all ground forces and their designations, but also went out to the field, witnessed exercises and experiences firing with various ground weapons.

“The main goal of these ground days is exposing the new pilots to the missions laid at the doorstep of the soldiers fighting on the ground”, said Captain Gabriel Palma, leader of the seminar on behalf of the Cooperation Unit instructional center. “The assistance of fighter pilots to ground forces doesn’t begin in warfare, but in training. In order to thoroughly understand the challenges, disabilities and capabilities of the ground forces, they must undergo a tangible experience”.

New Mechanism to Expedite Assistance
operation “Protective Edge”, which broke out almost a year ago, was one of the main topics of discussion in the seminar. The operation proved the high importance of aerial assistance to ground forces during warfare as the IAF fighter jets struck thousands of targets, allowing the ground forces to make progress in the field.

What created such efficient cooperation between ground and aerial forced during the recent operation was a new mechanism which drastically shortens the time of between the call for assistance to the actual strike, and decreasing the safety range between the targets and the fighting forces. The mechanism is now improved and bound to regulations, all In order to institutionalize aerial assistance to ground forces. “The fighter jet was always another platform which helps ground forces, but the operation took it to another level”, says Lt. Col. Uri, Commander of the Cooperation Unit instructional center. “We’ve witnessed how the IDF and IAF conceptual change leads to more effective assistance to the forces. This is definitely an additional indication that shortening times and safety ranges are necessary to the success of the mission”.