Hawk over Sardinia

IAF delegation went to Sardinia, for a joint practice session with the Italian Air Force. IAF F-16 C and D models were in presence, for a weeklong exercise practicing operations in vast, foreign land

Date: 02/11/2011, 4:08 PM     Author: Karen Tocatly, IAF website

An Israeli Air Force delegation consisting of the "Knights of the North" and "First Jet" squadrons operating the F-16 C (single-seat) model along with the "Valley" squadron operating the F-16 D (double-seat) returned from Sardinia following a widespread, weeklong practice session with the Italian Air Force.

The combat squadrons were accompanied by the "Dakota" control squadron flying the Gulfstream 5 G-550 radar plane. The Italian Air Force sent its advanced "Eurofighter Typhoon" aircrafts on which two Israeli combat pilots were granted exclusive backseat rides.
"It was extremely impressive", said Major Danny, operating commander of the delegation. "The plane has immense capabilities and it was exciting to be able to see up close".

The goals of the delegation for the IAF were to strengthen ties with the Italian Air Force, learn from NATO's combat doctrine, practice combat abilities in unknown, vast lands and to leave a positive impression on all fronts.

"The experience cooperating with the Italian Air Force was a positive one in every way", said Lieutenant Colonel Yiftah, commander of the delegation. "We had a good understanding on the operational situation while flying together, that quickly developed into a trusting, friendly relationship. Beyond that, we had the great opportunity to fly in extremely vast areas, even larger than Israel in its entirety, practicing very complex outlines with many planes that have abilities that are unknown to us".