U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft have arrived in Israel, according to a recent U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv news release.
Airmen and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, landed at Uvda Air Base, Israel, October 30, 2019.
“The F-16 will be taking part in Blue Flag, a biennial training event that builds and maintains defensive interoperability and cooperation between militaries,” the Embassy message states. “This year’s Blue Flag involves military members from Israel, Germany, Greece, Italy and the U.S.”
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.
The F-16 remains the world’s most successful, combat-proven multirole fighter. Approximately 3,000 operational F-16s are in service today in 25 countries.
The U.S. and Israel maintain an exceptionally close bilateral relationship and the U.S. Air Force’s participation in Blue Flag Israel 19 demonstrates nation’s commitment to Israel, as well as improves cooperation, integration, and tactical effectiveness
Blue Flag is a large-scale aviation exercise held by the Israeli Air Force. It first took place in November 2013 at Ovda Air Force Base in Israel. The exercise, which included the participation of several foreign air forces, is aimed at expanding international cooperation.
The goal of the Blue Flag training exercise is to simulate extreme combat scenarios and coalition flights as realistically as possible.