Israel to host hundreds of foreign fighter pilots in largest ever multinational exercise

Air forces will learn from each other and practice flying alongside each other, TV report says

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Hundreds of foreign pilots are scheduled to arrive in Israel for the largest-ever multinational training session to be held in the country, Channel 2 TV reported on Tuesday evening. The air forces would share theoretical information with each other and pilots would practice flying wing-to-wing with each other.

The names of countries set to partake in the joint exercise were under wraps.

Israel has held multiple exercises with other armies, and, in recent years, the Israel Air Force flew alongside foreign pilots in training runs in Greece, Hungry, Cyprus and Italy.

Israel can offer a great training ground — including low-altitude flying and drop zones for live ammo — for pilots from all over the world, Lt.-Col. Assaf told the channel.

Speaking with a helmet on his head to cover his face, and without revealing his family name, Assaf — one of the planning officers — described the benefits foreign air forces derivded when training in Israel. Israel’s knowledge of weapon systems owned by various Arab countries, and its years of experience, were of great value to its allies, the pilot said.

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