Israeli F-16 pilot demoted after falsely claiming to down aircraft during exercise in U.S.

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 492nd Fighter Squadron returns from a sortie in support of exercise Red Flag 16-4 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada Aug 24. Red Flag is a realistic combat exercise involving U.S. and allied air forces conducing training operations on the 15,000 square mile Nevada Test and Training Range. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

A Major in the Israeli Air Force that participated in the US Red Flag exercise has been demoted for lying about a “kill” of another aircraft during the world-renowned training event.

According to The Times of Israel, a deputy commander of the F-16 troupe sent by the IAF had falsely claimed he had “shot down” another plane during the exercise.

Despite the pilot making a fake video showing him downing the enemy plane, the investigation revealed that the “splash” had never taken place.

Although the investigative report never indicated what led the IAF to be suspicious of the Major, he was in fact demoted after being found out.

An Air Force deputy commander was found to have acted immorally, in a way that does not meet the expected values of an officer and soldier in the Israel Defense Forces,” a defense spokesman said. “As soon as the matter came to light, the officer was removed from his post and suspended from any further flights.”

The IAF took to the skies over Nevada last month in the Red Flag exercise, which the US Military considers to be its “premier air-to-air combat training exercise.” During the exercise, participating countries are split into two teams and simulate dogfights at all hours.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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