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Blue Flag 2017 joint military drill debutes in Israel

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - Israel
 
 
Blue Flag 2017 joint military drill debutes in Israel
 
Military aircraft from nine nations began on Sunday a joint aviation drill in southern Israel, the largest military exercise of its kind ever in the country. A military notice said the 11-day Blue Flag exercise is taking place in the Ovda Airport Base in the Negev Desert, north of the resort city of Eilat.
     
Blue Flag 2017 joint military drill debutes in Israel 640 001An IAF F-15I Ra'am taking off from Ovda Air Force Base, Israel
(Credit: Matty Stern/US Embassy in Tel Aviv)
     
It includes more than 1,000 aircrews, technicians, and administration teams from Israel, India, the United States, Greece, Poland, France, Italy, Germany, and a ninth country whose name was not disclosed.

During the exercise, the teams would run various scenarios and simulate different situations to enable "unique cooperation of international training, learning of flight techniques, and strengthening diplomatic cooperation between the countries," according to a military spokesperson.

The biennial Blue Flag drill is part of the Israeli air force exercise plan, the spokesperson added. It is the third time the drill is taking place since it was initiated in 2013.

The drill would be the first time the Indian air force would participate in it, marking a significant strengthening of the ties between the two countries over the past year.

The Hebrew-language Channel 2 TV news reported that senior military officials said the drill has "a supreme strategic importance for the air force, the Israel Defense Forces, and the State of Israel."