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Air, Land & Sea: What Happens When You Combine All Three in the IDF

They may all speak Hebrew, but IDF sailors, pilots and ground troops actually communicate in distinctly different ways. Each respective ‘language’ comes loaded with jargon and abbreviations. They also use unique equipment, survey the scene from varying perspectives, and operate within differing time frames. So, how do you bridge the gaps while leveraging the advantages of navy, infantry and air forces? One way to do it is by bringing together cadets from all three forces, and exposing them to each other’s worlds.

Soaring high with a bird’s-eye view, pilots support ground soldiers by scouting out danger and striking down with pin-point accuracy. Meanwhile, sailors survey targets offshore day in, day out, and fire at them from unexpected angles possible only at sea.

Given the significance of seamless communication, cadets from the navy, infantry, and air force met last week to develop a common language and lay out the ground for future cooperation. They gained invaluable exposure to each force’s terminology, tools, and even classified tactics.
Cadets also experienced a splash of naval life, as this year’s tri-force encounter was held at the Naval Academy. Just as sailors may feel like fish out of water in a fighter aircraft or tank, air force and infantry cadets were challenged with swimming, rafting, and diving exercises. Topping off the action, the cadets set sail on missile boats to witness an impressive display of naval technology, complete with offshore shooting and cannon fire blasting through the air. Cadets also watched an exhilarating sea-to-air rescue drill, in which a pilot, reaching out a hovering helicopter, hoists up a stretcher from the boat into the aircraft.


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