8 countries participate in largest ever Israeli air force drill

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Over 70 aircraft from eight countries are participating in the largest air force exercise ever held in Israel.

The two week-long Blue Flag exercise, which began on Oct. 2, brings seven air forces – Italy, India, France, the U.S., Poland, Germany and Greece – to the Ovda base in southern Israel.

This drill marks the first time German or French aircraft have trained over Israeli skies and it is also the first time that India will join the bi-annual exercise.

“We are providing them with a high-tech playground,” said Col. Itamar, Commander of the Ovda base, whose full name was not permitted for publication.

Over 1,000 personnel from the eight countries, including Israel, participate in the event, which the Israeli Air Force (IAF) billed as having a “profound strategic meaning” for “strategic-international cooperation.”

The countries will face off against a simulated enemy force played by the Israeli army’s Squadron 115.

“It’s not about winning or losing, but about improving combat readiness,” Itamar said.

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