Six Israeli Air Force F-16C/D Barak multirole fighters, accompanied by support and special mission aircraft, landed at Tactical Air Force Wing 31 “Boelcke” in Nörvenich, Germany, on August 17th for a two week deployment for the joint exercise “Blue wings 2020” with the German air force (GAF)
The exercise will see the IAF F-16’s aircraft train alongside Luftwaffe’s Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 31 (Tactical Air Wing 31) “Boelcke” operating the Eurofighter, for the first ever bilateral training exercise between the two air forces on German soil. 180 members of the IAF joint the operations in support of the fighter jets.
The Israeli detachment consists of six F-16C/D “Barak” fighter jets – three each from 101 “The First Fighter” Squadron and 105 “The Scorpion” Squadron at Hatzor AFB, two B707 “Re’em” tanker aircraft and two special-missions Gulfstream G550 aircraft from 122 Squadron at Nevatim AFB.
Both air forces will practice joint air operations during the first week, and in the second week, the Israeli partners take part in the “Multinational Air Group Days” (MAGDays), which take place several times a year.
As part of the drill, the IAF participated in a flyover over the Dachau Concentration Camp, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and over the Bavarian city of Fürstenfeldbruck near Munich, in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics.
The exercise is being held to continue enhancing the IAF’s capabilities, maintain its readiness to face various scenarios, and to continue strengthening its bonds and cooperation with allied air forces. The IAF contingent will test their skills in dogfights, ground-to-air combat, defeating surface-to-air missile threats, and “other combat scenarios in enemy territory.”