US, Israeli airmen fortify airlift capabilities

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs
Two C-130J Super Hercules along with about 80 Airmen attached to the 86th Airlift Wing from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, deployed to Israel in support of exercise Juniper Falcon from May 7-18, 2017.

The 37th Airlift Squadron conducted airlift integration training with the Israeli Air Force. The integration was designed to build interoperability and maintain the enduring partnership between the U.S. and Israel, which has been developed during decades of cooperation.

"This is a great opportunity for us work with our Israeli partners to exchange ideas and concepts and the meaningful cultural aspect that comes with those discussions," said Maj. Libby Music, the 37th AS detachment commander.

The training sorties, which focused on bilateral air interoperability and joint service integration through low level flying, assault landing, and airdrop of cargo and personnel from the U.S. and host nation forces, gave the 37th AS pilots the chance to take part in flights unique to the region. The training also allowed them to become more familiar with the airspace and region that their Israeli partners are charged to defend.

"The biggest takeaway for us is the unique exchange of air tactics, drop zone and landing zone operations and maintenance procedures between our two militaries," said Capt. Wesley Dembek, the 37th AS deputy of operations. "This is also a great opportunity for us to train in an austere environment that challenges us to adapt and become more familiar with the region."

Juniper Falcon exercises that have been executed annually since 2011. The exercises were combined to increase joint training opportunities and capitalize on transportation and cost efficiencies gained by aggregating forces.

Juniper Falcon is one of many exercises completed between U.S. European Command and the IDF.