This week, as part of the strengthening of the relationship between the forces, Lt. Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli, Commander of the Italian Air Force, visited the IAF. During the visit, General Vecciarelli learned about the abilities of the IAF and took off for a sortie in a “Sufa” (F-16I). “Both countries share common values that are the foundation of our mutual activity”

Nadav Shaham & Illy Pe’ery

Lt. Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli, Commander of the Italian Air Force, visited the IAF this week as part of the deepening of the cooperation between the militaries and the promotion of joint exercises. The visit began with an honor guard in IAF HQ after which Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, IAF Commander and General Vecciarelli held a personal meeting in which they discussed various subjects that concern both forces.

Chief of the Italian Air Force Visits Israel

Photography: Mor Tzidon

General Vecciarelli also visited Hatzor AFB, toured its advanced flight simulator and took off for a sortie in a “Sufa” (F-16I) from the “One” Squadron with Lt. Col. Ziv, the Squadron Commander. “The cooperation between the air forces is very tight and includes many different fields”, said Col. Harel, Israeli Air Attaché to Italy. “Both countries share common values that are the foundation of our mutual activity”.

Chief of the Italian Air Force Visits Israel

Photography: Celia Garion

 Sharing Knowledge, Platforms and Values
Over the years, a number of purchase deals were made between the Israeli and Italian Air Forces, the most notable of which being the acquisition of the Italian “Lavi” (M-346) Jet Trainer by Israel.

The forces also share knowledge in different fields and hold joint training exercises. The Italian Air Force participated in the “Blue-Flag” International Training Exercise held in Ouvda AFB in 2013 and have confirmed their participation in the exercise that will be held next year, while the IAF has deployed to Sardinia in the past. Furthermore, the two forces conduct crew exchanges and send their personnel to participate in various courses. Italian UAV operators also often participate in courses held in the IAF UAV Academy in Palmahim AFB, while IAF “Shimshon” (Super Hercules C-130J) perform their conversion training in Italy.

Chief of the Italian Air Force Visits Israel

Photography: Celia Garion

 True Friends
General Vecciarelli may have visited Israel before, but this was his first visit in his current position. “There is a very good acquaintance between the forces that is based on personal friendship between the commanders. General Vecciarelli is a true friend of the state of Israel, a person who believes in the vision of simulated training and that holds a vast operational background”, said Col. Harel.

Chief of the Italian Air Force Visits Israel

Photography: Celia Garion