Top of the Olympus
IAF helicopters and Unit 669 fighters met their Greek counterparts in an exercise that took place in Greece. It was a good chance to exchange ideas, methods and thoughts
The Mediterranean sea almost shimmers in response to the sun rays, but there is still no feeling of excitement at the sight of the clear water: blue is blue is blue and these helicopters made the long and monotonous journey from IAF bases to a Greek base just a few days ago. A few minutes later and the blue view changes again, the one seen from the window as well as the one mirrored on the cockpit screens.
We are making rounds, as if mimicking the rivers etched into the Mount Olympus. An isolated hut appears on the horizon and disappears time and again and the Unit 669 fighters along with their Greek counterparts are looking restless as they lean out the Blackhawk and stare downward.
Suddenly, we are landing and the rescue unit fighters leap off the helicopter. They disappear among the bushes and quickly return with a “wounded” man on one of the soldiers’ shoulders. They quickly hop back onto the plane and within a moment we’re already at an altitude of 7,000 feet.
Respect the Mountain
“In Israel we know every hill and every mountain and are less preoccupied with the elements of flying. We’re not preoccupied with navigational orientation, which is an important component of flying”, says Lieutenant Colonel Gadi, Commander of the “Rolling Sword” squadron and commander of the temporary squadron in Greece that includes Blackhawk and Apache-Longbow pilots. “Within two or three years, the average helicopter pilot has flown through the area so many times that he’s not surprised anymore. Here we have no idea. I don’t know the place and I need to study the territory extensively”.
But it wasn’t …read more