International exercise begins with Eurofighters above Jerusalem

Israeli Air Force

Two Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter Typhoons, in formation with Israeli Air Force’s F-15 and F-35 fighter jets, flew above Jerusalem, marking the first time the German air force has visited the Israeli capital in the last century.

The event, which took place on October 17, 2021, signified the start of a Blue Flag international exercise. It also marked a moment of reconciliation, as chiefs from both air forces met a Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center after the flight.

“Our responsibility will not expire; the remembrance must not fade. Deeply moved, I read you our pledge: ‘Never Again’,” Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, Commander of the German Air Force, said at the ceremony.

Gerhartz flew one of the Eurofighters, while Israeli Air Force Commander Major General Amikam Norkin operated the F-15.

Germany is one of seven countries set to participate at this year’s Blue Flag, which will take place at Ovda Airbase in Israel. In addition, the United States, United Kingdom, France, India, Italy and Greece will also join in the exercise. 

The occasion also marked a year since the IAF visited Germany for the first time. In August 2020, six IAF F-16s and several support aircraft performed memorial flights and trained alongside the German Air Force.

According to The Times of Israel, the last time the German Air Force visited Jerusalem was during WWI, when the territory of modern Israel belonged to the Ottoman Empire.

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