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IAF said participating in major international air force drill

In Nevada exercise, 100 planes and multiple countries simulate dogfights, perform aerial refueling

Illustrative photo of an IAF F-16 (IDF Spokesperson's Unit/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of an IAF F-16 (IDF Spokesperson's Unit/Flash90)

Israel is taking part in a huge multilateral air drill together with a number of other countries at the Exercise Red Flag in Nevada, Channel 2 reported Thursday.

The Israeli Air Force sent a number of its fighter jets, among them F-15 squadrons, to the aerial war games, which feature simulated dogfights, aerial refueling and long-range bombings.

More than 100 planes and over 2,500 personnel are taking part in the event, which along with the US Air Force and NATO members, includes a number of specially invited countries including Jordan and Singapore.

Amid tensions between the two countries in the wake of the Iran nuclear accord, both Jerusalem and Washington attempted to keep Israel’s participation in the event under wraps, but photos taken during exercise showed otherwise.

Held at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Red Flag is considered one of the US’s premier international air drills. Unlike in Israel where space is limited, the sprawling Nevada training grounds offer pilots ample territory to practice long-range flight simulations.

Despite lukewarm relations on the administrative level, defense cooperation between Israel and the US remains strong. Israel has participated in and initiated a number of multilateral air drills in recent years, including exercises with the Greek, Italian and US air forces, among others.

The IAF has been drilling extensively for the possibility that it will be called upon to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

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