While Israel is not a member of NATO, it is classified as a major non-NATO ally and is often involved in exercises in the region.
By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News
In a joint effort to prepare for a possible military confrontation with Iran, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) will hold a widescale drill with the U.S., Italy and Britain this week.
The drill will take place in Italy and will include the IAF’s newly purchased F-35 Adir fighter jets, making it the first time the stealth jets are deployed in a foreign country and used in a foreign environment.
היום (א’) מתחילה הפריסה הראשונה של מערך האדיר לחו”ל – תרגיל “הכתר החמישי” באיטליה! בתרגיל ישתתפו חיל-האוויר הישראלי, האיטלקי, האמריקאי והבריטי. pic.twitter.com/jwgWXOYDdu
— Israeli Air Force (@IAFsite) June 6, 2021
IAF fighter pilots will train alongside Italian, American and British pilots in one of the largest exercises of this kind to take place in recent years. According to a senior IAF official cited by Kan News, the drill will develop cooperation between the forces related to target identification and logistics, such as aerial refuelling and providing support to ground forces.
The main objectives of the exercise were defined as strengthening military collaboration and preparing for a possible armed conflict with Iran in the near future. Other goals include improving the deployment capabilities of the F-35 fighter jets in unfamiliar territory.
This exercise is the first of its kind to include such a comprehensive collaborative effort between Israel and three member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
While Israel is not a member of NATO, it is classified as a major non-NATO ally and is often involved in NATO exercises in the region.
In 2018, Israel participated in a NATO annual drill for the first time, as tensions rose between Moscow and NATO. The IDF sent dozens of combat soldiers from its Paratroopers Brigade to participate in the drill, which took place in eastern Europe.