NEVATIM AIR BASE, Israel — Two C-130J Super Hercules aircraft along with approximately 80 Total Force Airmen attached to the 37th Airlift Squadron, deployed to Israel in support of exercise Juniper Falcon from May 7 to 18.
The 37 AS conducted airlift integration training with the Israeli Air Force designed to build interoperability and maintain the enduring partnership between the U.S. and Israel developed over 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, 37 AS detachment commander.
These 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 “Blue Tail Flies” 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, 37 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 represents the combination of several bilateral component exercises that have been executed annually since 2011. These 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 Israeli Defense Force.