Israel has been hosting fighter jet squadrons from the USA, Greece and Italy for a two-week joint aerial combat training exercise over its southern desert.
The ‘Blue Flag’ drill is said to be the first of its kind hosted by Israel, and follows the same pattern as the well known competitive US ‘Red Flag’ air exercises.
Israeli aircraft simulate the enemy as pilots train to dodge missiles at low altitudes and dog fight over the desert in the south of Israel.
International observers including the US ambassador to Israel attended the event at the Ouvda airbase near Eilat.
“We live in a tough world, a dangerous world. Israel lives in a dangerous neighbourhood and we need the best equipped, best trained forces as possible to protect our people and our security. We also need allies and we have great allies here,” Ambassador Dan Shapiro told the media and assembled pilots on Monday.
Organisers say the overall goals of the first ‘Blue Flag’ are to improve the ability of the air forces to work together.
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