Last week, during a joint exercise, the UAV squadron and the Reconnaissance squadron practiced joint missions, changing missions in the air and dispatching reinforcements in real time
At the beginning of the month, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and the Reconnaissance squadrons practiced their different missions in northern Israel. The two divisions flew together and experienced joint missions. „The enemy changes his methods and techniques all the time and we are forced to prepare for this and to understand how it is possible to deal with the variety of threats in the most effective and relevant manner”, explains Captain Alexei, one of the leaders of the exercise in the „First UAV” squadron. „All the exercises that we practiced were adjusted to the methods and techniques that we will have to use in the event of a conflict”.
„One of the main goals of the training session was to strengthen the cooperation between all the squadrons of the division and to tighten the operational relationship between the manned squadrons and the unmanned ones”, explains First Lieutenant Oded, leader of the exercise on the part of the „First” squadron. „Each one of the squadrons and each one of the aircrafts has its own relative advantages over the others and capabilities that are unique to it”, adds Captain Alexei. „Our goal is to combine all of these capabilities in the most appropriate and effective manner, so that all of the aircraft will demonstrate their relative advantages”.
Accordingly, the different squadrons performed joint missions, switched missions in the air and came to the assistance of one another when needed. „Once this synthesis is done in practice and during a mission, another aircraft comes with different capabilities in order to assist it; you understand better the relative advantage and the importance of combining them in order to successfully complete the mission”, said Captain Alexei.
The cooperation was not limited to the air; the pilots, the air patrollers and the UAV operators on the ground maintained constant communication and full coordination. „All the aircrews met together every day and performed joint briefings and debriefings, which connected the people and helped us learn the different emphases in every squadron and how each one can improve itself in all these aspects”, adds First Lieutenant Oded.
The Bigger Picture
An emphasis was also placed on the connection between the operation of the missions and the intelligence picture. Each day of the exercise began with a lecture by a researcher from the Intelligence Department, who briefed the teams on the characteristics of the northern front. „The familiarity of the teams with the overall picture helps them gain a deep understanding of what they do during the mission. Besides raising the motivation, it also helps us perform the mission more effectively”, says Captain Alexei.
Author: Nadav Berger and Vered Talala