The Israeli air force (IAF) is upgrading its transport capabilities as part of operational requirements for long-range transport missions.
A new training centre for the IAF’s Heavy Transport Division was recently opened at the Nevatim airbase, located in southern Israel.
The division currently consists of different squadrons currently operating the C-130 H, Boeing 707 and Gulfstream G-550. The new C-130 Js that were purchased will join when they are delivered.
Until now there was no single body in the IAF that was in charge of training the crews of transport aircraft. Each squadron therefore had to perform separate training programmes.
“The reason the Heavy Transport Division didn’t have a training centre until now was that the simulators were located abroad, outside of Israel,” explains Col P, head of the training department. “Over time, we realised that in order to operate with the correct training culture we were aiming for, we need to have a training centre that would handle these issues,” he told the IAF website.
The missions of the Heavy Transport Division are quite varied and as such, the new training centre will have to provide a diverse instructional service. To this end, a research and development section was established within the training centre: a section comprised of non-commissioned officers and multimedia producers who will be responsible for the design of the training.
The inauguration of the centre is actually the first step among many in a long-term process of developing instructional training in the Transport Division.
“This is only the beginning. We envision this center being part of a training squadron”, says Lt Col Eitan, commander of the Desert Giants squadron which operates Boeing 707.
“Even though we currently don’t have any simulators, this centre is looking a few years ahead. I hope that in the future we’ll see upgraded Hercules C-130 and Hercules C-130J simulators; maybe someday even a Boeing 707 aerial refueling simulator”, said Brig Gen Lihu Hacohen, commander of the Nevatim airbase. ”At the end of the day, this professional training will put us, as a division, in a much better place.”