The Commander of the Northern Command led a comprehensive training exercise in cooperation with the IAF, in which participants prepared for deterioration in the northern border, including war. The cooperation between the Northern Command and the IAF has strengthened in recent years and is at its peak, with many cooperation exercises and a surprising appointment
This is the first exercise of its kind and it lasted two weeks. The duration of the exercise was determined by the desire to best simulate real challenges that the Commander of the Northern Command and the participating units could meet in reality and to create useful learning processes. The exercise was simulative and was only conducted on ground for the IAF participants and its goal was to improve and exercise the planning and control processes during war with an emphasis on preparation and aid in the arena, to improve production processes and target attacks in real time and improve IAF capabilities when fighting under missiles barrages.
The exercise resembled deterioration in security stability in the Lebanese and Syrian border which reached simulation of war and included ground maneuvers. An attack from the sea, attacks on the Lebanese and Syrian border and heavy fire on Israeli main cities were only part of the scenarios that were practiced in the comprehensive exercise.
“The exercise was carried out by the Commander of the Northern Command, so all the players in the arena could participate and give a full response to extreme scenarios they trained for”, stated Col. Or, Head of the IAF’s Training Department. “The scenarios that were practiced were meant to be complicated, loaded and more difficult than those expected to occur in real time in order to create an optimal exercise for the participants”.
Strengthening The Bond
Following changes in the northern arena and the new threats in the arena, in the past years the IAF was required to tighten its bonds with the Northern Command, a bond which led to a rise in the amount of common training exercises in the work program. During the exercise the IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, visited the Command’s headquarters, where the preparation for the current situation was presented to him and the importance of the cooperation between the two forces was discussed, as the operational activity of each force has direct impact on the other.
In addition to the IAF Commander’s visit, IAF units routinely visit the command. For example, combat helicopter and UAV squadrons traveled north last week for a joint operational forum with the”366th Division, a regional division, subordinate to the Northern Command which is responsible for the Golan Heights for the purpose of acquaintance and strengthening common work.
Even though they fly very high and far from the ground, the IAF’s Combat Squadrons also visit the command’s divisions frequently, due to the division’s significant common work with infantry forces in any confrontation and in every arena.
Another example for the strengthening cooperation between the forces is the recent appointment of the former Head of the IAF’s Participation Department – and a trained fighter pilot – Col. Aviad, to the Chief Artillery Officer of the Northern Command. This pioneering appointment is another stage in the integration of both force’s activity.
Defense and Attack
Simultaneously with the joint training exercise with the Northern Command, this week, the IAF carried out a comprehensive arming exercise with the purpose of improving the IAF’s attack abilities under fire. “The arming exercise is a part of a year-long process of building and improving our attack ability”, said Col. Or. “In the exercise preparation scenarios for assistance in maneuvering in the front and depth of enemy territory was practiced, in addition to protection of border areas, making intelligence gathering efficient for the purpose of creating new targets in real time and supremacy when facing advanced threats and was held as a part of the yearly training program”.
IAF servicemen and women do not only practice attack, but also practice defense, realized as dealing with heavy enemy fire into Israel. “Solving problems and malfunctions that come up is a part of promising that in the case of the exercise scenario happening in real time – we will be ready”, concluded the Head of the Training Department.