Israeli F-35s for the first time at the "Red Flag"

(To Gino Lanzara)

Despite the passage of time, the net, in exercises, it always assumes the distinctive character of the enemy.

In Nevada, at the Nellis air force base and Nevada Test and Training Range, the air exercise was held from 12 to 24 March Red Flag, which saw the participation of a large number of combat and logistic aircraft (about a hundred); in summary it was an annual exercise divided into three phases: while in January attention was focused on China, with the involvement of the RAF and the Australian Air Force, the third tranche, focused on the Indo Pacific and scheduled for August, will concern only the USA.

In addition to the usual participations, the presence of both aircraft belonging to the so-called Five Eyes (USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand) and to the Israeli Air Force, a key strategic element for Tel Aviv, which deployed 7 F-35Is for the first time Adir, accompanied by two F15 RAAMs.

The training was directed to the deep strategic attack, to the achievement of air superiority, to the attack flight in coordination between the various air forces, to the defense of the territory, to the interception of enemy aircraft, to the low altitude flight and to attacks (about 2.200) against targets located in inaccessible and strongly defended places. In-flight refueling was ensured, for the Israeli aircraft, by US KC135 aircraft.

La Red Flag followed before the Blue Flag of 2021, held at the Israeli base of Uvda with the aim of strengthening regional cooperation and testing the achievement of full war capabilities with the simulation of combat scenarios and joint flights, and was preceded by Juniper Oak of January of this year, joint activity with CENTCOM USA.

From an operational point of view, it is expected that, by 2024, Jerusalem will have at least 50 fifth-generation aircraft.

Geopolitically the novelty introduced by Blue Flag it consisted in the presence of the UAE which, despite not having deployed aircraft, followed up on the normalization process with Israel that began with the Abraham Accords. However, the Iranian threat remains, and is present both with the alleged progress of the nuclear program, which cannot exclude military intervention, and with the UAVs with which Tehran is allegedly equipping the Shiite militias in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.

In the context, the Iranian military deployment in Syria, close to the borders of Jerusalem and frequently flown by Israeli aircraft, and the resumption of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh thanks to Chinese mediation, which has effectively overshadowed the diplomacy of Washington creating a further and potential situation of instability for the whole region and in particular for the Jewish state.

For Israel, the danger is approaching from various points of crisis: Gaza with a new intifada, Syria, Lebanon, Iran; understandable therefore the need to implement joint training with other partner air forces.

Looking at the deterioration of the situation in the Middle East, and at the Israeli-US warning that foresees targeted actions against Tehran in the event of an enrichment of fissile material exceeding 60%, it must be considered as conceivable that any training activity of a particular level such as that experienced, perfect performing royals strike estimates; in the background the anti-Israel activity conducted with ballistic launches from Gaza and Lebanon, the resurgence of terrorist actions and the destabilizing internal political situation characterized by not having resolved but only postponed the dispute centered on the judicial reform supported by the current government.

Photo: US Air Force