Second “Adir” Squadron Becomes Operational

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Unread post10 Aug 2020, 03:46

Second “Adir” Squadron Becomes Operational
06 Aug 2020 Shira Pansky

"After six months of intensive preparations, the 116th (“Lions of the South”) Squadron, the IAF’s second “Adir” (F-35I) squadron, has officially become operational. From now on, its personnel will take an active part in the IAF’s operational activity.

About six months ago, the 116th ("Lions of the South") Squadron's personnel stood proudly as four "Adir" (F-35I) fighter jets flew over them. The date was January 16, 2020, the opening of the second squadron to operate the most advanced aircraft in the IAF. Today (Thursday), the squadron marked another milestone and officially became operational. From now on, the "Lions of the South" are ready to take part in the IAF's extensive operational activity.

Facing the Unknown
Before being announced as operational, the squadron was required to undergo a long process, during which it gained experience in various fields - everything from defining training processes to planning the squadron's tactics. For the last six months, the squadron's personnel were met with the various scenarios that they were required to face as part of their preparation for the operational fitness inspection that took place this week - they will be prepared for real situations. "The operational fitness inspection provides an official seal of approval for the operational capability of the 116th Squadron to carry out all the missions of the ‘Adir' division. The squadron's tasks include its management during routine and periods of war, as well as maintaining functional continuity", explained Maj. Edi, the squadron's technical officer.

The 116th Squadron's personnel were not exposed in advance to the scenarios they had to face as part of the test week, just as during combat they will not always be able to anticipate what will happen. "The inspection simulated the operational arena and the current regional tensions. Several scenarios led to a simulated war on all fronts, and aircrew members took off for missions in all of Israel's regions", shared Maj. G, leader of the operational fitness inspection and aircrew member in the squadron....

...It All Comes Down To This
The operational fitness inspection simulated 72 hours of intensive combat. "We worked 24 hours a day, nonstop", described Maj. Edi. "Soldiers, officers and NCOs alike, worked for 16 hours a day and rested for the remaining eight. The squadron operated in shifts, to simulate its activity during warfare"...."

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