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Pakistan and Israel Air Forces participating in the joint military exercises

Red Flag Exercises, United States

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Pakistan, UAE and Israel Air Forces are taking part in the Red Flag Exercise this year that took off on Monday in Nevada, U.S. The exercise will continue for another nine days in which the Air Forces of all three countries will be trained to conquer challenges in a war including rescue missions and jet refueling. Before this drill began, a lot of hype was created around this training due to the presence of Israel and Pakistan in the same event. There is no love lost between the two nations. Pakistan although, has offered diplomacy on their part, if Israel finds a solution to the Palestine predicament.

Red Flag Exercise is an aerial combat simulation training that was initiated in 1975 in order to prepare US Air crafts for real air combat situations. It is held at the Neville Air Force base in Nevada. Air Forces from many other nations have allied with the United States for this training. It is usually a two-week program in which Air forces are involved into some pragmatic training games. There are two teams basically, a red team and a blue team. Both teams then have to face two to three forays every day. Some of the foreign countries that have earlier participated in these Red Flag Exercises in the past few years include India, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Pakistan, Columbia and Poland and Singapore.

The Israel Air Force(IAF) was among the four countries that took part in the previous year’s training. According to them, it is the best aerial combat training in the world. They have been preparing for this exercise for months by sending their Air crafts to the Nellis Air Base on ad hoc basis. Israeli Squadrons include the likes of F-161 known as “the Storm”, are Air crafts used for this training by Israel.

F-35A and F-35B, the stealth fighters were introduced in the third round of Red Flag exercise that took place in July this year by the US Air Force. They failed to impress against the F-15 jets in the combat simulation. But now they are back in the program and ready for combat. Israel has also ordered their F-35 “Adir” jets that are set to arrive in December. They will be the first ones to own this kind of advanced war planes in the Middle East.

Pakistan also partook in this exercise in 2010. This is the first time they have engaged themselves in an activity that has Israel Included in it. In the Israel-Palestine conflict, Pakistan has always been on the side of Palestine pleading for a solution to put them out of their misery. Both nuclear-armed countries have been giving cold shoulders to each other since then. When the news about Pakistan and Israel participating in the same event surfaced on the media a few weeks earlier, it grabbed quite a few eyeballs. On response to a query by media regarding this report, Israel Defense Forces (ISF) Spokesman said,

The air force trains regularly in Israel and abroad in order to maintain operational fitness for various operational plans. The Red Flag exercise involves unique and high-quality training. When the IAF was invited to participate, it accepted the invitation.

This story first appeared on Haaretz