Events Log

Bookmark and Share
Sudden Event Exercise Release date 03.04.2019
IAF fighter jets, RPAVs (Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicles) and transport helicopters recently participated in a sudden event exercise, led by the ATC (Air Traffic Control) Unit and focusing on the northern theatre. Evacuating casualties, providing ground support and rescuing downed pilots are some of the scenarios drilled in the exercise, which placed an emphasis on interdivisional cooperation
Michal Ben Ari & Shira Pansky

IAF fighter jets, RPAVs (Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicles) and transport helicopters recently participated in a sudden event exercise, led by the ATC (Air Traffic Control) Unit and focusing on the northern theatre. The exercise was three days long – all days were identical in terms of material, which was then drilled by different units each day. "We wanted to establish a high-quality training which involves both aircrew members and air traffic controllers", said Lt. H', an air traffic controller who helped lead the exercise. "We established a background story for the exercise based on the current operational situation in the northern theatre and trained accordingly".


Archive Photo

High Quality Training
The ATC Unit, which planned the exercise, is responsible for managing and synchronizing aircraft in the airspace. Using advanced radar systems, the unit's controllers are able to examine an aerial overview over different ranges and help protect Israel against enemy threats at all hours of the day. "The ATC Unit operates the IAF's aircraft during both routine and operational events, and so we have the necessary knowledge for establishing a high-quality exercise", said Lt. H'.

The exercise included the establishment of a new directorate at the ATC Unit, simulating the control center located in the IAF Operational HQ, which is utilized during operational events. Controllers from every division arrived at the directorate. "This directorate allowed us to optimally brief and debrief before and after each flight", added Lt. H'.


Archive Photo

Inherent Complexity
The 113th ("Hornet") Squadron, which operates "Saraf" (Apache Longbow) attack helicopters, performs a wide variety of missions – from sky defense to close air support. "In case of a sudden event, we assist the transport helicopter squadrons in casualty evacuation. If they need to transport or extract ground forces, we secure their helipad and provide support if necessary", said Lt. A', the 113th Squadron's exercise leader. "When drilling downed pilot SAR (Search-and-Rescue) we escort the transport helicopters while helping to locate and extract the pilot. RPAVs arrive at the area beforehand and make sure to provide us with an aerial overview".

"One of the main challenges was the complexity inherent in an exercise which includes more aircraft than the squadron's exercises usually do. We needed to learn how to operate with a larger amount of forces", added Lt. A'. "Another challenge was establishing common ground between the two participating attack helicopter squadrons. Each one operates differently, and it was important that we establish the exercise in a way that fits the two squadrons' combat doctrines".


Archive Photo

The work may have been challenging, but the result was worth it. "The fact that we can sit and lead together made for an exercise significantly better than any other exercise we held up to this point", concluded Lt. H'.