(JNS.org) Representatives from several foreign air forces convened this week at the Ovda Air Base in southern Israel to prepare for the biennial “Blue Flag” exercise, which is set for November.
The two-week combat rehearsal will be the largest and most complex air exercise conducted in Israel’s history. Some 100 fighter pilots and support crews from seven countries—the U.S., Greece, Poland, France, Germany, India and Italy—will participate in the drill.
This year’s involvement of France, Germany, India and Italy marks the most significant change to the Blue Flag program since its inception in 2013. For the first time, Germany will send multiple aircraft, pilots and senior military officials to participate.
“They are coming to Ovda to train with us and learn from us. When a German combat aircraft and refueling plane arrive, it is an emotional event,” a senior Israeli Air Force officer said, Haaretz reported.