Enduring Lightning 3 Exercise
Monday, October 12, 2020, the "Enduring Lightning 3" exercise took place. It was the third joint exercise of 2020 between the Israeli Air Force and the United States Air Force, as part of the two forces' exercise programs.
In the exercise, the 116th Squadron, which achieved operational capability in August and operates the "Adir" (F-35I), trained alongside the 421st Fighter Squadron of the USAF operating F-35A fighter jets, and the USAF's 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron and 340th EARS, which operate the KC-10 Extender and KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft.
Additionally, the IAF's 122nd Squadron participated in the exercise. The squadron operates "Nachshon" (Gulfstream G550) aircraft. During the exercise, it was responsible for conducting airborne air control for both Israeli and American fighter jets.
The 115th Squadron, the IAF's "Red Squadron" that specializes in enemy simulation, took part in the exercise as aggressors. Its purpose is to train and challenge the participating pilots with various scenarios that reflect the operational arena.
As part of the exercise, which took place in southern Israel, the advanced aircraft trained to deal with various ground and aerial strategic threats in the Middle East. Due to Covid-19, the participating crews planned, briefed, and debriefed virtually.
Along with handling the Covid-19 pandemic and caring for the safety and health of all personnel, the IAF continues to maintain full operational readiness and conducts ongoing training exercises, including international cooperation, to ensure that it fulfills its main mission - protecting Israel's skies in routine and emergency.