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IAF Seeks Permanent Training Base In USA

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  • Josh Pollack
    Jane s Defence Weekly - August 1, 2001 IAF Seeks Permanent Training Base In USA The Israeli Ministry of Defence has submitted a request to the US Department of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1 1:00 PM
      Jane's Defence Weekly - August 1, 2001

      IAF Seeks Permanent Training Base In USA

      The Israeli Ministry of Defence has submitted a request to the US Department
      of Defense (DoD) to allow the Israel Air Force (IAF) to deploy combat
      aircraft in the USA for regular flight training.

      The IAF has outlined plans to send the aircraft to a US Air Force (USAF)
      base by 2002 as part of a programme to improve IAF training levels and raise
      combat readiness. IAF officers say the size of Israel does not allow for
      realistic combat exercises and limits their ability to train for long-range
      air strikes.

      Commander in Chief of the IAF Maj Gen Dan Halutz said the aircraft would be
      based permanently in the USA and that IAF pilots would be continually
      rotated for training missions. Gen Halutz said that the proposed IAF
      deployment and training programme would include combat manoeuvres with the
      USAF.

      The IAF commander noted that co-operation between the two air forces has
      increased over the last year. In March-April this year, six IAF F-16
      multirole fighters participated in the USAF's annual 'Red Flag' air combat
      exercise run by the Air Warfare Center and the 44th Combat Training Squadron
      at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Israel had not participated in the
      exercise since 1998.

      The final decision on the deployment, however, rests with the DoD. A
      spokesman from the USAF's Office of International Affairs said: "The Israeli
      Ministry of Defense has requested that the DoD consider the feasibility and
      potential cost of allowing the IAF to station a detachment of fighter
      aircraft at a USAF base in the United States. Israel's objective is to
      provide training opportunities that are not available in Israel and increase
      opportunities for joint training with the USAF. This request is currently
      under review by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. If the review is
      favourable, the US Air Force will then begin the staffing process to see if
      there is a suitable location for the IAF detachment. No final decision to
      station IAF aircraft in the US has been made by either the DoD or the
      Israeli MoD."

      The IAF has, in the interim, invested more than $50 million in upgrading
      combat readiness of its aircraft, the result of which, say senior IAF
      officers, is that the air force is on a higher level of combat readiness
      than at any time during the last decade.

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