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Landmark Moment: Israeli Air Force’s F-35I Adir Stealth Aircraft Make Inaugural Appearance at Red Flag Exercise

Israeli Air Force’s F-35I Adir stealth multirole combat aircraft have made their debut at Red Flag 23-2 exercise, marking their return to Nellis Air Force Base. This extensive exercise, held from March 13-24, presented participants with complex multi-domain scenarios, challenging them to adapt and overcome while facing Nellis AFB’s highly skilled aggressor force simulating real-world threats. The Israeli Air Force’s involvement in Red Flag 23-2 builds upon the success of previous combined exercises like Juniper Oak 23-2 and Juniper Falcon, fostering enhanced interoperability, bilateral cooperation, and strengthened capabilities that contribute to regional stability and demonstrate the enduring commitment of the United States to Israel’s security.

Col. Jared Hutchinson, commander of the 414th Combat Training Squadron, highlighted the significance of the Israeli F-35 participation, stating, “It is a rare opportunity for warfighters from both countries to integrate our most advanced capabilities. As the Fifth-Generation Center of Excellence, Nellis AFB is uniquely capable of hosting F-35 units on the ground and challenging them in the air.”

The commander of the IAF 140 Squadron expressed enthusiasm for showcasing the capabilities of the F-35 Adir during Red Flag, emphasizing its role as a game-changer and the value of learning from the experience of flying alongside American partners.

The IAF’s return to Nellis AFB after a seven-year absence, following their initial participation in Red Flag back in 1978, underscores the significance of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Red Flag exercises provide joint and allied partners with realistic training scenarios to maintain readiness for potential real-world situations. The inclusion of the Adir in this exercise facilitates mutually beneficial interoperability training as it operates alongside F-35A Lightning IIs from Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

This deployment of the F-35I Adir marks its first appearance in the United States. The IAF’s Adir fleet consists of cutting-edge fighter jets equipped with advanced sensors and communication systems, serving as a vital component of the Israeli Air Force since the F-35 joined their fighter fleet in 2016.

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