Exercise Blue Wings 2020
On Monday, August 17th, 2020, a Gulfstream G550 Nachshon Eitam led 6 Israeli F-16C /Ds and two Boeing 707 tanker aircraft to Nörvenich, joining Luftwaffe Squadron 31 “Boelcke” for exercise BLUE WINGS 2020.
During the flight in German airspace, after overflying Austria, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, the Inspector of the Air Force, received the guests from Israel with a Eurofighter formation… and greeted them by radio. The Lieutenant General’s Eurofighter flew in formation with the Gulfstream and escorted them to Nörvenich. The IAF (Israeli Air Force) Gulfstream G550 Nachshon Eitam was flown by the IAF commander, Major General Amikam Norkin and the first female Israeli squadron Commodore, Lieutenant Colonel G.
It is the first time that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) would partner with the German Air Force in Germany. As part of the bilateral exercise “Blue Wings 2020”, German Eurofighters and Israeli F-16s trained side by side during joint air operations. In the second week of training, the Israeli partners took part in the multinational Air Group Days (MAG Days), which take place several times a year.
The Eurofighters of the German Air Force have already been to Israel twice to take part in the Blue Flag exercises (most recently in November 2019). Blue Wings is another point of cooperation between the two countries.
On Tuesday, August 18th, 2020, a joint Israeli-German formation flew over the Fürstenfeldbruck airfield and the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial near Munich. In Fürstenfeldbruck, the 11 Israeli hostages of the 1972 Olympic attack were shot in an unsuccessful liberation operation. Over 30,000 Jewish prisoners were murdered in the Dachau concentration camp during the Nazi dictatorship. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, together with the two Air Force Chiefs and the Israeli Ambassador, laid wreaths at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial to recall and show respect to the those lives lost to the atrocities of the Nazi regime.
I would like to thank Dr. Stefan Petersen for his assistance with this article.