American F-15s Flying in for Joint Exercises

F-35, F-15, air force, Israel, U.S., American
An Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jet flies during an aerial show at a graduation ceremony for soldiers who have completed the IAF Flight Course, at the Hatzerim Air Base in the Negev desert, on December 29, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

American F-15 fighter jets have begun arriving in Israel for two weeks of joint exercises, Haaretz reported Thursday, citing military sources.

“An international exercise in cooperation with the American air force will begin in the coming days,” the IDF spokesman said. “The exercise is based on the annual training plan.”

The exercise will be run out of the Ovda air base in the south.

The air operations follow an agreement signed between the U.S. and Israel two years ago for cooperation in integrating the new F-35 into the IAF, aviation medicine and flight safety.

The U.S. is only one of Israel Air Force’s partners, albeit the most important one. About a month ago, the IAF trained in Greece with the air forces of Greece, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Last year IAF pilots took part in the Red Flag drills in the United States, in which the air forces of the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Spain also took part.

Next November, a large exercise is slated to be conducted in Israel under the code name Blue Flag. It reportedly will include Israel, India, the United States, Poland and Italy.