Israeli air force squadrons are training this week in a special "pattern", in preparation for the international Blue Flag exercise, which will be held in the coming weeks at the service's Uvda air base in the south of the nation.

The squadrons are practising using only English to get ready for the planned large-scale manoeuvres.

The Edge of the Spear and the Knights of Twin Tail squadrons from Tel Nof air base, the Knights of the North and the First Jet squadrons from Ramat David air base, the Knights of the Orange Tail squadron from Hatzerim air base, and the One and Bat squadrons from Ramon air base will all take part in the exercise.

Meanwhile, the air force's Flying Dragon unit, which will host the international exercise at its home base, will also simulate the hostile Red Force during the activity.

The international Blue Flag exercise is being held for the first time in Israel. Over several intense weeks, combat aircraft from the host nation, Greece, Italy and the USA will share the skies over southern Israel. Observers from several additional countries will also participate, to examine possible participation in future, when such events take place in the coming years.

A vast area of the southern part of Israel will be closed to other air traffic for the duration of the exercise, allowing the large number of fighters to fly according to the pre-designed scenarios.

Source: Flight International