Jerusalem, November 24: This year India-Israel carried out drill exercise for the first time, on Thursday the elite Garud commandos of the Indian Air Force recently participated in the Blue Flag military exercise in Israel and trained with Unit 699 of the Israeli Air Force.
The 45-member Indian contingent led by Group Captain Maluk Singh worked closely with Israel’s elite special force to boost its capabilities, including cross-border counter-terrorist operations and interoperability.
The mandated role of Garud Commando Force, whose motto - ‘Defence by Offence’ - matches closely with the task assigned to Israel’s special force Unit 669. Its operators undergo the longest training phase of any unit in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), lasting 22 months, and training has a heavy emphasis on navigation.
In a rare move, while contingents of other participating nations sent fighter aircraft, the IAF decided to send C-130J Super Hercules aircraft along with Garud commandos.
The Blue Flag drill is a biannual exercise designed to strengthen Israel’s military cooperation internationally. This was the first time India participated in the drill, along with the US, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Poland. An unidentified eighth nation is also said to have participated in the military exercise as per local media.