Things look different from the ground
Photo: Eliad Levy
Cross-force training
Photo: Eliad Levy

IDF to open school for military cooperation

Special training school meant to improve, strengthen collaboration between air, ground forces during combat

Strengthening the link between ground and air – The IDF is set to open a first-of-its-kind school designed to improve cooperation between the Air Force and Ground Forces.


The decision to establish the school came on the heels of the Second Lebanon War, but cooperation between the "blue" and "green" uniforms began well before the summer of 2006, though further collaboration is needed.


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Last week, pilots from the Spearhead Squadron, the IAF's 106 combat squadron, visited the Paratroopers' training base in the south, where they watched – for the first time since joining the army – an infantry brigade exercise in both open and urban terrain.


"We drove tanks, and could see for the first time how combat soldiers on the ground fight," Squadron Commander Lieutenant-Colonel N. told Ynet. "It helps us to better understand who we are assisting during combat," he added.



Learning from one another. (Photo: Eliad Levy)
Learning from one another. (Photo: Eliad Levy)

"In one of the drills we were able to watch at eye level a regiment commander instruct a helicopter above him to stop advancing, because he spotted an explosive charge ahead of him.


"We were able to understand why he did it – the same is true for combat in urban terrain, when the fighter sees a 3-story building – something that we, from up above, cannot know," Lt. Col. N. noted.


'Improve real time coordination'

Meanwhile, Paratroopers' training base Regiment Commander Lt.-Col. Guy Berger accompanied a group of IAF pilots in a drill that simulated the storming of a structure housing hostiles, as infantry troops routinely do.


"During the exercise, I noticed the pilots' difficulty in directing the commanders from the ground. These drills allow us to better connect on the personal level, and improve our coordination in real time," he said.

Pilots in infantry training (Photo: Eliad Levy)
Pilots in infantry training (Photo: Eliad Levy)


Nowadays, joint drills between the Air Force and Ground Forces – including the infantry, artillery, armor and Combat Engineering Corps – are a weekly occurrence, taking place in both IAF squadrons and ground forces' training bases throughout the country.


Almost all IDF infantry troops have trained with IAF aircraft, and the hope is that cross-force training will help soldiers and pilots better assist and learn from one another.


The long arms of the new school, which is being founded by Lt. Col. Uri Hagai from Golani Brigade, are expected to reach almost every course and military training program in the ground and air forces.


The annual training program will also incorporate all squadrons, ranging from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to transport squadrons.




פרסום ראשון: 10.06.11, 00:21
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