The Israeli Defense Forces still believe that paratroopers are a vital capability in special operations.
That is why a special parachuting zone that will serve ground troops has been inaugurated at the Israeli air force’s Nevatim airbase. The new zone will reduce flight times and cut training costs.
One of the most familiar capabilities of the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules is air-dropping paratroops. The new parachuting zone will strengthen ties between ground forces and the IAF at the home of Israel’s C-130s.
“The new parachuting zone will be called ‘Machbesh’ (Hebrew for steamroller), named after the parachuting operation executed at the Mitla Pass during the Sinai campaign in 1956,” Brig Gen Lihu Hacohen, Nevatim’s base commander told the IAF website.
Until now, the C-130s left Nevatim in southern Israel to pick up the paratroopers at Tel Nof airbase in central Israel, site of the paratroop training centre, then air-dropped them at the parachuting zone in Palmachim, also in the centre of the country, before returning to Nevatim. The new parachuting zone will shorten the journey and, in so doing, save training costs.