Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: SBAP Team - Translation: Marc Arys  ©sbap 2020
 

It is obvious that the month of August 2020 will have marked the contemporary history of the Federal Republic of Germany through the arrival of the Hebrew State Air Force. Indeed, as part of two separate exercises, six F-16 "Barak", as well as some other planes adorned with the blue Star of David on a white background, moved from Israel to Germany, particularly to the airbase of Nörvenich in Nordrhein-Westfalen where they were hosted from August 17th till August 28th.
To mark this event described as historic, the Bundeswehr in consultation with its Israeli counterparts had developed the fly-over of a commemorative formation made up of a G-550 "Eitam", two F-16 "Barak" and two Typhoons overhead the infamous Dachau camp and the Fürstenfeldbruck base, as a tribute to the Israeli victims of the terrorist attack during the 1972 Olympic Games.
It should be noted that a good number of the pilots in the formation had a family bond with victims to which this homage was paid.
After this first day filled with emotions and the remembrance, the participants went on with the Blue Wings exercises for the first week and the Magdays for the second one.
It is obvious that such an event could not be missed and the SBAP-team shared the work to bring back the greatest possible variety of clichés and involve our readers in this page of history.

 
 Involved Israeli Air Force Squadrons
 
Participating Aircraft
    
F-16C-40-CF Barak (c/n CJ-17) code 531 IAF 101 Sqn (Hatzor)
F-16C-40-CF Barak (c/n CJ-18) code 534 IAF 101 Sqn (Hatzor)
F-16C-40-CF Barak (c/n CJ-20) code 536 IAF 101 Sqn (Hatzor)
F-16D-40-CF Barak (c/n CK-10) code 628 IAF 105 Sqn (Hatzor)
F-16D-40-CF Barak (c/n CK-26) code 676 IAF 105 Sqn (Hatzor)
F-16D-40-CF Barak (c/n CK-28) code 682 IAF 105 Sqn (Hatzor)
C-130J-30 Shimshon (c/n 5794) code 667 IAF 103 Sqn (Nevatim)
G550 Shavit (c/n 5037) code 537 IAF 122 Sqn (Nevatim)
G550 Eitam (c/n 5069) code 569 IAF 122 Sqn (Nevatim)
KC-707-3P1C Re'em (c/n 20716) code 260 IAF 120 Sqn (Nevatim)
KC-707-3P1C Re'em (c/n 21096) code 272 IAF 120 Sqn (Nevatim)
KC-707-3P1C Re'em (c/n 21334) code 275 IAF 120 Sqn (Nevatim)
KC-130H Karnaf (c/n 4660) code 522 IAF 131 Sqn (Nevatim)
KC-130H Karnaf (c/n 4662) code 427 IAF 131 Sqn (Nevatim)
The commemoration formation above Dachau concentration camp
(Courtesy ©Bundeswher Media via Internet)
A pass above Fürstenfeldbruck airbase
(Courtesy ©Bundeswher Media via Internet)
Simply amazing to see the Geman and Israeli Air Force together
(Courtesy ©Bundeswher Media via Internet)
When the "Typhoon" meet the "Barak"
(Courtesy ©Bundeswher Media via Internet)
In action above German territory
(Courtesy ©Israeli Air Force Media center via Internet)
Tactical break
(Courtesy ©Israeli Air Force Media center via Internet)
The plane and the photographer 
(Courtesy ©Bundeswher Media via Internet)
Typhoon pair in action
(Courtesy ©Israeli Air Force Media center via Internet)
The significant difference between European camouflages 
and those of the Middle East
(Courtesy ©Bundeswher Media via Internet)
An incredible image that says it all taken during Magdays 2020 exercice
(Courtesy ©Bundeswher Media via Internet)
The Luftwaffe and Israeli Air Force
(Courtesy ©Bundeswher Media via Internet)
Luftwaffe Tornado and Hungarian Air Force Grippen
(Courtesy ©Bundeswher Media via Internet)
 
Blue Wings & Magdays 2020
 

Blue Wings 2020 was the start of the two week exercise being held, to continuously enhance the IAF's capabilities, maintain its readiness to face various scenarios, and to continue strengthening its bonds and cooperation with allied forces. The goals of the first week during Blue Wings were to test their skills in dogfight, ground-to-air combat, defeating surface to-air missile and other combat scenarios in enemy territory.
The second week was dedicated to an enlarged exercise called Magdays 2020 (MAG = Multinational Air Groups) and conducted by the German Air Force. Four Magday events are usually scheduled a year and Germany hosts them as the Framework Nation for the project. However, due the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of exercises was reduced to two in 2020. The first Magday event taking place in June with participants from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland and Slovakia.
The focus of the 2nd Magdays of 2020 which were concluded on August 27th , was on establishing air superiority in an area by engaging a fictious opponent's ground-based air defense systems.
A special highlight of the event was the fact that for the first time, the Israeli Air Force sent F-16 fighter aircraft and a Boeing KC-707 tankers to participate in this framework with, of course, the German hosting nation but also with a Hungarian Air Force delegation. Five Gripen fighters were deployed to Jagel airbase in northern Germany to fly missions with Tornado's of the German Tactical Air Wing 51 "Immelmann".
Israel is a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) partner integrated in the "Mediterranean Dialogue" and using other procedures and processes than the NATO member states. The participation of Israel gave the Magdays a special note. Hungary was part of the multinational air force exercise for the fourth time. Germany and Hungary Air Forces had a common desire, to learn from their Israeli colleagues and contribute these findings to the NATO in order to increase the quality of the North Atlantic alliance. In return, the Israeli Air Force received valuable insights into standardized NATO procedures.
The last mission was held on August 27th and on Friday August 28th, the Israeli fighters took off from Nörvenich at dawn, heading for their home base at Hatzor, followed by the supporting aircraft.

  
 
Blue Wings 2020 (17-08-20 until 21-09-20)
 
Monday August 17th, 2020 (The arrivals)
 
The great day of arrivals
(Jan de Clercq ©)
The Typhoons went to welcome the guests at the German border
(Jan de Clercq ©)
A pass of the KC-707 code 260
(Jan de Clercq ©)
We never would have thought it possible ...
(Jan de Clercq ©)
...to see the blue Star of David in the German sky
(Jan de Clercq ©)
Short final for the "Barak"
(Jan de Clercq ©)
The 534 at landing
(Jan de Clercq ©)
The Shavit is a system for enemy communications analyzing 
and waging electronic warfare
(Jan de Clercq ©)
The Eitam is an AEW & C remote monitoring and warning system aircraft.
The amount of Shavit and Eitam in IAF service is unknown
(Jan de Clercq ©)
The G-550 Shavit escorted by a pair of Typhoon
(Jan de Clercq ©)
The "Karnaf" 522 at landing
(Jan de Clercq ©)
 
Wednesday August 19th, 2020 (Operations day)
 
No Air Force markings, just anonymous...
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
"Boelke" Squadron in action
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
In the heat of Middle...Germany
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The F-16D-40-CF Barak fulfills the Wild Weasel missions
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Bell UH-1D 71+53 (c/n 8147) from THR 30 detached at Nörvenich
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Waouw...no other words needed
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
534...mission accomplished

(Serge Van Heertum ©)

Typhoon trio just before the tactical break
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
A Wunstorf airbase visitor
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The sun effects on the Israeli camouflages
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Face to face with the Nachshon Squadron
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The 531 driver
(Marc Arys ©)
Salute to the photographers
(Marc Arys ©)
628 taxiing
(Marc Arys ©)
High power jet wash
(Marc Arys ©)
A400M leaving Nörvenich
(Marc Arys ©)
A Typhoon pair at holding point
(Marc Arys ©)
Short final on Runway 25
(Marc Arys ©)
Mission accomplished
(Marc Arys ©)
Sun and Typhoon
(Marc Arys ©)
Afternoon landing
(Marc Arys ©)
Eitam back home
(Marc Arys ©)
Eitam on taxi, a full Israelian concept bought also by Italy, Singapore and United States
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
The Shavit going to leave Nörvenich
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
The 31+34 (c/n GS0094) with  speed break open
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Desert sand color on a green desert yard!
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
IAF trio ready for take off
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
NATO awaks involved in the exercice
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Arrival of a German support
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Sun bursts on the 31+16 (c/n AS009)
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
The sun clearly shows the camouflage lines
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
"Barak" power
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
An image that we would never have imagined
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Morning mission for the "Barak's"
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Getting started under shelter
(Pierre Taquet ©)
High traffic at holding point
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Almost perfectly aligned
(Pierre Taquet ©)
The 682 on taxi
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Morning mission end
(Pierre Taquet ©)
LTG 62 Atlas inbound
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Last turn after downwind
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Short final
(Pierre Taquet ©)
An astonishing design with its dorsal ridge
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Face to face with a German delta
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Full profile for the 536
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Backtrack to the holding point
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The 31+16 few minutes before take off
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Simply ecological...yeah
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The 676 departing for his mission
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The UH-1D is almost at the end of its career within the German forces
(Jacques Vincent ©)
534 landing
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The 31+40 (c/n GS0100) in final
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Israelian Wild Weasel concept
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Big transport visiting Nörvenich
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The Eitam conclude the afternoon missions
(Jacques Vincent ©)
A look that is both impressive and aggressive
(Anthony Graulus ©)
The pilot wear the BAe Striker II helmet
(Anthony Graulus ©)
The 31+05 (c/n GS081) leaving the flight line
(Anthony Graulus ©)
It changes us from the uniform grey
(Anthony Graulus ©)
It's rush hour
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Bell UH-1D 70+87 (c/n 8147) from Transporthubschrauber regiment 30
(Anthony Graulus ©)
This camouflage suits him well
(Anthony Graulus ©)
End of flight for the 31+39 (c/n GS0099)
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Nose close up on the 31+40
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Back home
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Airbus Military A400M Atlas 54+08 (c/n 046) from LTG62 Wunstorf AB
(Anthony Graulus ©)
 
 
Magdays 2020 (24-08-20 until 27-09-20)
 
 
  
Monday August 24th, 2020 (Operations day)
 
Second week of exercice launched!
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Today the TLG 31 special paint was involved in the missions
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
The 31+32 (c/n GS0092) at holding point
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
The 30+96 (c/n GS074)
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Few seconds before take off for the 31+05 (c/n GS081)
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Leaving the flight line
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
A bad weather special paint...
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
The right side of the tail showing the aircraft used by the TLG 31
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
International pilot language
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
678 waiting the take off clearance
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Here we go!
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
 
Tuesday August 25th, 2020 (Operations day)
 
"Re'em" at landing
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Another German visitor: Global 5000 14+04 (c/n 9417) from FBS BMVg Köln
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
An image like it was in the golden 1970's
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
The two seater 30+54 (c/n GT016) departing for a mission
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Israelian team have also tested the typical Europen weather
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
The 30+94 (c/n GS073), note the TLG 74 markings
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
275 at landing
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Oups, little bit crosswind
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Grey weather landing
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Back in the shelter 17
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Posing for posterity
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
 
Wednesday August 26th, 2020 (Operations day)
 
An historical image so simply!
(Jan de Clercq ©)
Morning mission taxi for a Typhoon...
(Jan de Clercq ©)
...and same for a "Barak"
(Jan de Clercq ©)
534 full power take off
(Jan de Clercq ©)
682 waiting take off clearance
(Jan de Clercq ©)
The 31+32 (c/n GS0092)
(Jan de Clercq ©)
Everyday the SAR helicopter was involved in the missions
(Jan de Clercq ©)
On final
(Jan de Clercq ©)
Real special look
(Jan de Clercq ©)
31+47 (c/n GS0107) at landing
(Jan de Clercq ©)
Oups...note the door handle which is no longer in its housing
(Jan de Clercq ©)
 
Thursday August 27th, 2020 (Last Operations day)
 
Last operational day
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The 30+94 (c/n GS073) coming out
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
531 taxiing
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Last European mission the "Barak" 676
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Afterburner take off
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The 30+97 (c/n GS075) on taxi
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Back to base for the SAR team
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Low level landing for the 31+40
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Sunny reflectons
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
682 at landing
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
So old and so elegant
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Back from a last formation photoshoot
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Magdays 2020/2 is over
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
C-130J-30 Shimshon (c/n 5794) code 667 arriving to pick up material
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
KC-130H Karnaf (c/n 4662) code 427 with the same mission
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
KC-707-3P1C Re'em (c/n 21096) code 272 from 120 Sqn as final view of this unique European event
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
 
 

Reports Menu - Homepage