In what may come as a surprise to many, Israel recently conducted a joint air force exercise over the Nevada desert in the US with Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates – Muslim countries with which it has no diplomatic relations.
The Israeli, Pakistani and United Arab Emirates (UAE) air forces have recently concluded an 11-day joint aerial military exercises with the US Air Force in Nevada.
The drills simulated various scenarios in different weather and times of day. Some 50 aircraft took part in the exercise.
“We want to train forces for long-range flights. This is a very complex mission. I have not seen another country that alone gets there [to Red Flag] without external [American] services. This strengthened our air crews’ long-range ‘muscles,'” a senior IAF source said on Thursday, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The Americans update each exercise with “scenarios that they wish to use to train themselves and international forces,” the source said.
While Pakistan and the UAE are both US allies, Israel does not have formal relations with either Muslim country. Nevertheless, clandestine contacts between Israel, Pakistan and the UAE as well as other Sunni Muslim countries have surfaced in recent years due to a shared concern over Iran.
During the Red Flag drill, described as a unique high quality exercise by Israeli officials, pilots were divided into teams to simulate dog fights and other advanced aerial combat simulations at the Nellis Air Force base. Red Flag is considered the US military’s “premier air-to-air combat training exercise.”
“There is no replacement for this kind of exercise. We can’t set up this kind of training arena in Israel. It is hard to surprise our air crews here during training,” the IAF source stated.
The Israeli Air Force trains regularly in Israel and abroad to maintain operational readiness for different operational situations. This is its sixth such drill in the US. Israel is slated to host the 2017 Blue Flag exercise.
The IDF has declined to comment on the joint training exercise.
By: World Israel News Staff