Jerusalem: Israel Air Force is participating in a military exercise, considered the biggest and best war simulation exercise in the world, along with air forces of Pakistan and the UAE with whom the Jewish state does not have diplomatic relations.
The advanced aerial training exercise during which fighter jets simulate combat involving coalition forces is taking place at the Nellis Air Force base in Nevada.
The squadrons participating in the exercise are said to be assigned to “red” and “blue” forces.
The exercise involves intercepting other aircraft, attacking targets, rescuing pilots and engaging in aerial activity under the ostensible threat of ground-to-air missiles.
Israel Defence Forces (IDF) when asked about Israel’s participation in the exercise with Pakistan merely confirmed its participation without commenting on other countries joining the event.
“The IDF trains regularly to maintain operational competency and be prepared for any potential challenge. The Israeli Air Force was invited to participate in the high quality exercise “Red Flag”, and has accepted favourably”, the IDF spokesperson told PTI.
This is the second year in a row that Israel Air Force is participating in exercise Red Flag using its F-16I (the “Sufa,” or Storm) planes.
Some photographers had even filmed Israeli, Spanish and Pakistani aircraft during the last few days in the area, near Las Vegas, ahead of the exercise, daily Ha’aretz reported.
Israel and Pakistan do not have diplomatic relations but the two countries have in the past tried to come close with a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries in 2005 fuelling speculations of some major diplomatic breakthrough.