‘Shared Commitment’: IAF and German Air Force commanders lead flight over Israel

October 18, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel experienced a one-of-a-kind flyover in its skies on Sunday when Israeli Air Force Commander (IAF) Major General Amikam Norkin and the German Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz led the “Wings of History” joint flyover.

The joint IAF German Air Force flyover. (Kobi Richter/TPS)

The flyover passed over Jerusalem and the Israeli Knesset and then Tel Aviv. Gerhartz flew in a Eurofighter specially painted with the Israeli and German flags, and Norkin flew in a Baz F-15. The flyover acted as a direct continuation of the historic joint flight that took place last year in Germany, which included a flight over the Dachau concentration camp.

“This joint flight passed over the Israeli Knesset, a symbol of our independence and democracy, and illustrates our shared commitment to ensure our future. We will never forget our past, but our heads are held up high as we look forward to the future,” said Norkin.

“In this region, we face threats from multiple theatres, and this cooperation plays a significant role in ensuring our future here in the State of Israel,” he added.

Gerhartz landed in Israel on Sunday for a three-day visit as part of the IAF’s Blue Flag” international aerial exercise, to “deepen the partnership between the militaries and improve cooperation between the forces.”

Germany is one of seven air forces participating in the Blue Flag exercise in the Negev, hosted by the IAF.

Prior to the flyover, Norkin and Gerhartz toured the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem together with Uwe Becker, former Mayor of Frankfurt. The commanders lit the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance and laid a memorial bouquet in honor of the victims of the Shoah.

“It always warms my heart, especially for us in Germany, we have to keep the remembrance of the Shoah alive. It’s especially important now, generations later,” Gerhartz stated. “We still feel the suffering of the Shoah’s victims. Our responsibility will not expire, the remembrance must not fade. Deeply moved, I read you our pledge: ‘Never Again.’”

The IAF has cooperated extensively and developed a strong relationship with the German Air Force. A few months ago, a delegation of 60 IAF deputy squadron commanders was hosted in Germany. Personnel from the German Air Force’s Tactical Air Force Wing 31 will visit Israel with their families in the coming months.

Maj. Noam, Head of the Europe and Asia Department in the IAF’s International Relations Unit, explained that the German Air Force is “our true partner.”

Gerhartz held his first visit in office in Israel, “which expresses the commitment of both parties to form a relationship,” said Maj. Noam. The most notable cooperation between the Israeli and German militaries is the “Red Baron” squadron, stationed at the IAF’s Tel-Nof Air Force Base, which is being trained by the IAF to operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft manufactured by the Israel Aerospace Industries.


One Response to “‘Shared Commitment’: IAF and German Air Force commanders lead flight over Israel”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Good to see the Luftwaffe and Israel Air Force working together.

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