On Sunday, The Israel Defense Forces and the US Air Force began a “Red Flag” drill.
An IDF statement confirmed that the drill will be conducted at the US Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
The drill is expected to last for two weeks and is likely to include simulations of different types of operations: from attacking long-range targets to dominating in air battles, to multiple joint operations through a combination of aircrafts, defense and supply. The IDF confirmed that supporting units on the group, anticipating and intercepting enemy aircrafts and low altitude flying and strikes will also be practiced.
The drill also touches on joint flight refueling along with Israeli planes refueling US fighters and fending off Israeli F-35 attacks by US KC135 refueling planes.
The IDF also confirmed that for the first time seven Israeli F-35s and two Rams (Boeing 707) took part in the drill by flying over US airspace.
The exercise was announced a matter of days following US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to Israel and only two months after the US-Israeli Exercise Oak Juniper, which was the largest joint drill ever involving the IDF, and the US Central Command (Centcom).
The joint “Juniper” exercises are perceived by many as an indirect warning to Iran and other adversaries of both countries.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the exercise at the time that it “shows the strategic partnership between Israel and the US and another stage in building Israel’s military power.”
“Israel will always defend itself, but it clearly recommends strong cooperation with our great ally,” he went on to say.
That exercise, which lasted over a week, involved thousands of armed forces, a dozen ships, a large number of attack and intelligence gathering drones, and 142 aircrafts.
The B-52 bombers were joined by several US aircrafts including the F-35s, F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
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