Israel Is 'Air Bridge' Between Middle East Countries Fighting Terror, Says Air Force Chief

In the past the IAF is reported to have conducted joint exercises with its Jordanian counterpart, including in-air refueling of Jordanian fighter planes.

Israel Air Force planes during the joint U.S.-Israel training operation Red Flag.
IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Israel Air Force has become an "air bridge between the countries of the region in their fight against terror," IAF commander Maj. Gen Amir Eshel wrote in a letter to his subordinates on the occasion of Air Force Day last Thursday.

Israel maintains security contacts with its neighbors Egypt and Jordan, though the Israel Defense Forces do not provide details of the contacts on the grounds that the information is particularly sensitive.

There have been reports in the past of joint exercises and maneuvers with the Jordanian Air Force. During the Red Flag exercise conducted last August, Israeli planes were reported to have provided Jordanian jet fighters with in-flight refueling while on route to the United States.

The IDF's head of operations, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, said in February that Israel shares intelligence information with countries participating in the coalition against the Islamic State.

"The past year has tested us in many ways," IAF chief Eshel said in his letter. "The regional warfare against radical terrorism has obliged us to adapt and initiate complex activities, during which the variety of the air force's capabilities have come into play."