Combat helicopters are independent killing machines. But in the complex scenarios of combat, especially in what is called “urban”, they in most cases have to co-operate closely with ground forces. This co-operation is not limited to talking on the same frequency of the communication systems. It’s much more than that.
Last week, aircrews from the Israeli air force’s (IAF) “Magic Touch” combat helicopter squadron from the Ramon air base performed a two-day exercise. During the training, the helicopter aircrews found themselves in the challenging battle arena of the “Maglan” highly classified ground forces unit.
One of the purposes of combat helicopter squadrons is to provide additional firepower support to ground forces, and therefore, a significant part of their training is dedicated to learning the secrets of ground warfare and strengthening co-operation with the commanders on the ground.
The Magic Touch unit that operates AH-64 Apache helicopters held a joint training session with all aircrews, both in regular military service and in the reserves.
Squadron aircrew members experienced ground warfare training on the simulator in one of the main infantry bases of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
According to the IAF magazine, the highly skilled soldiers of the Maglan unit directed the combat helicopters in “complex and unique missions”.
According to sources, Maglan specialises in operating behind enemy lines, using advanced technologies and weaponry.
The IDF keeps the unit’s missions a secret and gives no information about it or the operations in which the unit takes part. Maglan only became publicly known in 2006 and little is known about it.