This week’s joint exercises mark the first time Israeli jets have entered German airspace
Israel air force jets participated in several exercises over Germany on Tuesday – including flying over the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau – marking the first time Israeli jets had ever entered German airspace.
The moment that the Luftwaffe commander, Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhatz, welcomed the Israeli air force into German airspace was captured in a video.
“On behalf of the German air force, it is an honor for me to welcome the Israeli air force entering German airspace for the first time in history,” Gerhatz can be heard saying in the video released Tuesday.
Der Inspekteur der Luftwaffe, Generalleutnant Ingo Gerhartz, führte persönlich eine Ehrenskorte von zwei Eurofighter an um den israelischen Air Chief im deutschen Luftraum zu begrüßen. #Team_Luftwaffe schreibt Geschichte. @IDF @IAFsite pic.twitter.com/JbyQMB0QwP— Team_Luftwaffe (@Team_Luftwaffe) August 17, 2020
Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, the leader of the Israeli jets, responded by saying he was “proud” to lead his country’s first deployment into Germany.
“It’s a testimony to our strong ties and mutual commitment,” he said. “I salute you and your air force.”
On Tuesday, the two air forces marked the occasion with two Israeli F-16s and two German Eurofighters escorting an Israeli air force Gulfstream 6-500 carrying the commanders of both air forces over the Dachau memorial camp outside Munich. A third Eurofighter filmed the formation.
They were paying tribute to the Jews and others killed there during the Holocaust.
Der Überflug über Fürsti! Gemeinsam überflogen die beiden Air Chiefs der🇩🇪 und der 🇮🇱 Luftwaffe mit je zwei F16 und Eurofighter den ehemaligen Fliegerhorst Fürstenfeldbruck auf dem das Olympiaattentat von 1972 sein tragisches Ende fand. @IAFsite #Team_Luftwaffe pic.twitter.com/uCA6rRTs46— Team_Luftwaffe (@Team_Luftwaffe) August 18, 2020
They also flew over the Fuerstenfeldbruck airfield in honor of the 11 Israeli athletes who were killed as part of the Munich massacre attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics.
Nachdem die Jets der @IAFsite gelandet sind, beginnt auch die Berichterstattung zur Übung #BlueWings2020 auf https://t.co/fvySPFjdhv. Unter diesem Link werden wir in den nächsten 2 Wochen berichten. https://t.co/tTBHqMbfAI pic.twitter.com/1WPUmlhCvV— Team_Luftwaffe (@Team_Luftwaffe) August 17, 2020
Two athletes were killed and nine others were taken hostage by the Palestinian group Black September from the Olympic Village on Sept. 5, 1972. During a botched rescue attempt at the airfield by German police, the other athletes, along with five of their captors and a West German police officer, were killed.
Six Israeli F-16s, two Gulfstreams and two Boeing 707 tanker jets arrived in Germany on Monday for two weeks of exercises with the German and Hungarian air forces. About 180 Israeli personnel are involved.