IAF lands in Germany for historic first joint drill

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As part of the drill, the IAF will fly over Dachau Concentration Camp and over the Bavarian city of Fürstenfeldbruck, in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes were killed by terrorists in 1972.

Israeli Air Force Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, entered into German airspace for the first time ever and is welcomed by the Luftwaffe Commander, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhatz, August 17, 2020 (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Israeli Air Force Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, entered into German airspace for the first time ever and is welcomed by the Luftwaffe Commander, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhatz, August 17, 2020

(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) landed in Germany on Monday to hold a joint drill with the German Air Force for the first time, according to a statement by the IDF.

As part of the drill, the IAF will participate in a flyover over the Dachau Concentration Camp, in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and over the Bavarian city of Fürstenfeldbruck near Munich, in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics.

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The event will be broadcast live at 4 p.m. on IDF and IAF social media platforms.

IDF troops will also take part in an official memorial ceremony in Dachau attended by the German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Tuesday.

The drill has great strategic importance, according to the statement, which referred to the joint German-Israeli exercise and the arrival of IAF aircraft in Germany as a historic event.

The decision to carry out the drill at this time stems from the necessity of maintaining the IAF’s capabilities through regular training and practicing in unfamiliar conditions and terrain, according to the statement. The drill is also meant to strengthen the close cooperation between the IAF and foreign air forces.

“This is history,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit tweeted.

“The moment the Israeli Air Force, led by Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin, entered into German airspace for the first time ever and was welcomed by the Luftwaffe Commander, Lt.-Gen. Ingo Gerhatz,” they added in the tweet accompanying a video of Gerhatz welcoming the Israeli Air Force into the German skies.

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Last week, in the run-up to the exercise, Norkin met with Holocaust survivors and was given a belt belonging to Pesach Smieleg, who survived Dachau.

Norkin will carry the belt onboard during the flyover as “a symbol of remembrance and resurrection.”

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