For the first time in history, IDF soldiers participated in NATO’s Saber Strike War Games in Europe, during which they parachuted into Poland.

By: United with Israel Staff

For the first time in history, IDF paratroopers participated in the multi-national Saber Strike NATO exercise in Poland.

IDF Major Ido, an Operations Officer in the Paratroopers Brigade, traveled to Poland with his team to participate in the international event, which included an operational parachute landing among several other exercises.

The US-led Saber Strike military exercise, with 18,000 soldiers from 19 countries, mostly members of NATO, took place in the alliance’s eastern flank involving Poland and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.

Israel, despite not being a NATO member, sent paratroopers to the war games who operated under the 173rd Brigade of the US European Command.

“We have concluded a very intense and fascinating exercise with the US army and other countries as well,” said Ido. “The cooperation was focused on specific techniques and drills. This is the first time that Israeli troops are taking part in an exercise of this scale. We actually flew a platoon of 40 officers and soldiers from our reconnaissance battalion that took part in the jump and drills.”

During the exercise, military forces from America, Italy, Spain, Poland and other countries fought together. From planning the status of the mission to the jumping exercise, the international exercise accomplished its goal of bringing armies from around the world to work together and share knowledge.

Ido noted that the Israeli force focused on its collaboration with the US army. “We focused on the tactical and how to work and seize an airfield or other objectives. We shared knowledge. Our guys and the US troops shared so much knowledge and so many experiences.”

“Our main focus was to learn and observe, to focus on the collaboration part of it and the tactics,” he added. “We have a lot of experience, but the US army and other armies brought their own experiences and shared their knowledge.”

‘Particularly Moved to Land on Polish Soil’

Another interesting part of the exercise for the IDF was the Polish terrain. The IDF usually performs exercises in forest and bushes. In Poland, the forests are thick and the ground is more swampy and muddy.

Major Yotam, leading commander of the Israel forces, was “particularly moved to land on Polish soil and to train with my fellow soldiers during the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel in an exercise that demonstrates the strength of cooperation between the IDF and the US Army,” he says.

“For me, it’s a great pride to lead the paratroopers who represent the IDF and Israel in this exercise,” he said.

Israel routinely collaborates with other armed forces from around the world, connecting with important allies and strengthening global security in general.

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