Ten Israeli F-15 fighters recently concluded a joint exercise at an American air force base with the air forces of the United States, Singapore and Jordan.
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The Israeli planes refueled in mid-air several times en route from Israel to the Red Flag exercise at the Nellis air force base in Nevada. According to the aviation website Foxtrot Alpha, the Israeli contingent also provided the Jordanian fighters with mid-air refueling en route.
The head of the air force’s training division, Col. Uri, refused to confirm or deny Foxtrot Alpha's report. But in a briefing for military reporters, he stressed that there was “nothing connected to operational planning” in the mid-air refueling; it was “merely mission planning for the sortie to the United States.”
The scenario practiced in the exercise involved coalition combat against an imaginary enemy with significant aerial battles. During the exercise, participants practiced shooting down planes, attacking targets with bombs and lasers, rescuing pilots who had to eject from their planes and mid-air refueling. The exercise also included aerial activity against GPS-guided anti-aircraft batteries.
“The results of the exercise were very good, and this may have been the best and broadest war simulation exercise in the world,” Col. Uri said.
“The exercise also had additional benefits beyond the immediate ones at the level of training,” he added, including “strategic” and “cooperation” benefits.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter stopped by the exercise, which is marking its 40th anniversary this year.