Blue Flag 2017: Israel’s largest international aviation exercise

This past Sunday, November 5th, 2017, the “Blue Flag” exercise took off. This is the largest international aviation exercise that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has hosted to date. Throughout Blue Flag, air forces from the United States, Poland, Italy, Greece, India, France, and Germany will simulate intense combat scenarios in realistic settings with the IAF.

A French Mirage 2000 landing

Blue Flag, which is a two-week-long exercise, is broken up into two stages. The first stage allows the air forces to acclimate themselves to the environment and each other. The second stage is where the complicated combat scenarios begin. Part of the exercise will include the IAF’s “Flying Dragon” Squadron. This squadron specializes in imitating enemy planes and will do so during the exercise.

An Israeli F-15 ‘Baz’ slowing down on the runway at Ovda AFB

The drills, including those with the “Flying Dragon” Squadron, are designed to sharpen the air forces’ skills and strengthen cooperation, making Blue Flag both a unifying experience and strategically beneficial.

A German Eurofighter Typhoon pilot next to the Blue Flag 2017 logo