Air Force carried out a series of exercises designed to prevent attacks like those of September 11, 2001
Last week, IAF combat squadrons participated in a series of training sessions simulating aerial attacks on Israeli territory.
The exercises were carried out shortly before the eleventh anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. After those attacks, the IAF realized that it must prepare to face the risk of aerial terror attacks. Today, the Air Force continues to train for such potential threats. For this reason, combat squadrons of the IAF spent the week training to handle situations in which aircraft threaten Israel's skies.
"We are flying in scenarios that we face routinely, but through them we are practicing identifying civilian or enemy aircrafts that are invading our aerial territory and threatening Israel's skies," explained First Lt. Ronen, instruction officer of the Defenders of the South squadron, which is responsible for the squadron's training.
"During this exercise, the pilots face a civilian aircraft that does not respond in the communication device, a hostile UAV collecting intelligence, and a helicopter landing forces in our territory," he added. "They need to know how to handle these kinds of situations."
Although the training was meant for combat squadrons, other units participated in it as well: Squadrons known as "red formations" simulated enemy forces, and a Boeing 707 of the Desert Giants squadron simulated a civilian cargo plane that went off course.
In such scenarios, the pilots must be careful not to rush to intercept the approaching aircraft. "In the aerial battle situations we usually practice, we know that our aim is to drop the airplane," First Lt. Ronen explained. "But when we're dealing with a plane filled with passengers, intercepting isn't always the better option. That's why the dilemmas are no less challenging than the mission itself."