Last week, the Givati Brigade held a brigade exercise, in which, in addition to ground drills, the soldiers trained with the IAF on joint activities. The “Desert birds” and the “Rolling Sword” squadrons, which operate Blackhawk helicopters, played a central role in the exercise: They assisted in transporting troops and evacuating injured soldiers from the battle field to receive medical treatment.
These days, both the IAF and the ground forces work to enhance cooperation between the troops and the UAV Division of the IAF. In the exercise of the Purple Brigade, in addition to helicopter operations, the soldiers also practiced cooperating with UAVs from the Palmachim Airbase that accompanied them during the exercise, and also practiced supplying intelligence from the air.
Connecting the forces and creating a shared discourse has been the central objective of the whole military in recent years. Within the IAF, operating in a quiet, yet thorough manner is the Cooperation Unit, whose goal is to create common dialogue between the forces and their personnel and the rest of the military. Its activities were evident throughout the exercise: from its planning to its execution and even the debriefing at the end.
“The goal is to training together as much as possible, so that, in a war, we’ll know how to work in the best possible way,” said First Lieutenant Assaf, who is responsible for the exercise on behalf of the Cooperation Unit. “Our job is to know how to create quality cooperation between the ground forces and the platforms in the force. We are the factor linking the ‘greens’ and the ‘blues:’ On the one hand, we want to ensure that the brigade knows what to ask for from the IAF, that way, it will get the best response, and on the other hand, we want the squadrons to get the best training possible.”
This article has been reprinted with the permission of the IDF Blog.