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Video: IDF ‘Game of Thrones’ excercise in Cyprus

An IDF spokesperson has announced that this week marked the end of an international commando and IAF :Game of Thrones” exercise in Cyprus.

The “Egoz”, “Maglan” and “Duvdevan” special units participated, as well as combat helicopters, cargo squadrons, a UAV squadron, a simulating squadron and the 669 elite search and rescue unit.

As part of the exercise, the commando soldiers and IAF squadrons practiced basic and operational training against a threat in a new and unfamiliar area in the northern section.

Exercises included short one-night raids, with an emphasis on fighting in mountainous, close, and complex settings, attacking enemy infrastructure, flying ground forces, aiding ground forces, providing heliborne equipment, slow fueling of helicopters, extracting pilots abandoning their planes, and evacuating casualties. All of the exercises were performed while working “against” planes and forces simulating the enemy.

During the week, commando forces, pilots, and Israel Air Force personnel practiced together with the Cypriot army in order to improve the forces’ operational abilities and advance mutual learning. The integration achieved in the IAF and commandos joint exercise increased the efficacy of multi-branch coordination.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi visited the exercise area, watching the forces in the field and speaking with commanders about operational issues and challenges involved. He also met his Cypriot counterpart, Chief of the National Guard General Staff Ilias Leontaris.

“The Commando Brigade and the IAF are always working to practice and improve in accordance with the appropriate scenarios in joint exercises and operations, within the borders of Israel and outside of them, with the goal of being prepared for the challenges which they will be required to face in all fighting arenas,” an IDF statement said.

Brigadier-General Yoav Amiram, commander of the Palmachim Air Force base, said: “This is a complex exercise in challenging field and weather conditions. In this exercise, we saw the deep cooperation between the Commando Brigade and the IAF squadrons. It was impressive to see the abilities to use killing and precise force far from Israel’s beaches.”

Colonel Kobi Heller, commander of the Commando Brigade, said: “We have completed a unique exercise, beyond the borders of the State of Israel. The exercise included a variety of missions and combat scenarios that reflected the maturity of capabilities and operational processes that began four years ago. During the exercise, we emphasized the importance of accuracy and going into details. Nevertheless, above all it was the personal capability of the combat troops that was outstanding. During the exercise, a high level of professionalism was demonstrated, as well as a high quality and close collaboration with the IAF. The exercise reflected a developing operational capability, a whole operational doctrine, evolving capabilities of exposing the enemy and lethality that facilitates destroying the enemy in higher rates than before.”