Israel, Jordan fighter pilots flew together in recent US exercise
Israeli air force KC-707 fuel tankers escorted Jordanian Air Force F-16s to participate in the exercise
Israeli and Jordanian pilots are reported to have trained together at a US-hosted air force exercise this past summer, an American official told Reuters on Tuesday.
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also vaguely confirmed the rare acknowledgment of military cooperation between Israel and it’s Arab neighbor in a speech on Tuesday saying that Israeli pilots trained with unspecified Arab pilots in July’s “Red Flag” exercise.
“There were Arab pilots there too, and pilots from the various branches of the United States military and other countries,”Ya’alon said.
Just a few weeks after Israel gave Jordan 16 Cobra helicopters to enhance its border security, Foxtrot Alpha, an American website dedicated to military aviation news, reported that Israeli air force KC-707 fuel tankers escorted Jordanian Air Force F-16s to participate in the military exercises in the West of the United States.
Sources for the Foxtrot Alpha website said they had seen the group of aircraft from both Israel and Jordan flying west towards Lajes Field, a transit point in the mid-Atlantic Ocean commonly used by military aircraft.
The fleet was on the way to attend Red Flag, a military exercise at Nellis Air Force base in Nevada. For the US Air Force, Red Flag is the “premier air-to-air combat training exercise [that]…often includes both US and allied nations’ combat air forces.”
Israeli Air Force
This undertaking could be another sign that indicates that Jerusalem and Amman have decided to step up their military and defense cooperation.
On July 23rd, Israel has gave retired US-supplied Cobra combat helicopters to Jordanto help the Hashemite Kingdom fend off insurgent threats on the Syrian and Iraqi borders, a US official with knowledge of the deal said.
The handover, initiated last year, was approved by Washington, which provided mechanical overhauls for the aircraft before they were incorporated free of charge in Jordan’s existing Cobra fleet, the official said.
“These choppers are for border security,” the official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, told Reuters.
Jordanian and Israeli officials declined
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