2016 will see more exercise of the IAF in Cyprus. IAF plans to make training in Cyprus a resource as available as training our southernmost, Negev AFBs, and maybe even more, said senior officers in regards to the visit of The Cyprus Air Force Commander, Brig. Gen. Gavriel Demetriou, to Israel. During his visit, the Cyprus Air Force Commander will visit Palmahim and Ramat-David AFB, accompanied by IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel.
In the last few years the cooperation between the IAF and its Cypriot counterpart has deepened: A wide-scale training exercise was held in Cyprus last November, in which the IAF's squadrons performed a number of training flights in Cypriot airspace. "This is an excellent opportunity to train our aircrews in flying in unknown airspace", said Capt. Gil, Head of the Overseas Exercises Department, during the exercise. "The proximity of the Island to Israel creates a high level of flexibility and allows us to create a quality exercise with low costs and resources".
In 2015, two training exercises were held in Cyprus and the goal is to strengthen the cooperation. "Our goal is to ease the process of synchronizing and making it a standard process in the IAF, create a permanent foundation that will allow the IAF's aircraft to train there as much as possible", explained Capt. Gil. In fact, the Cypriot environment realistically simulates the environment the aircrews will be required to fight in in reality, a fact that makes flying in this environment the best possible operational training for the aircrews and improves their preparation for war.