The Negev Desert. Credit: Godot13 via Wikimedia Commons.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Israel this week is hosting Blue Flag, a joint air force drill with pilots from the U.S., Italy, and Greece over the skies of the Negev Desert.

Seven Israeli flight squadrons are participating in the exercise, including one “red” squadron, which acts as a mock enemy force. Each nation’s air force came with its own aircraft: Israeli squadrons are flying F-15s and F-16s, the U.S. pilots are flying F-16Es, the Italians the Tornado AMX, and the Hellenic Airforce is operating its own F-16s. In all, more than 60 aircrafts participated.

“The exercise is not intended to simulate a geostrategic scenario, but generic threats, like aerial defense and attacking targets,” a senior Israel Air Force official said Monday.

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