The Aerial Firefighting Unit held a two-day drill a year after the deadly Camel forest fire. The Unit was tested in its ability to contain small fires when working with the Israel Fire and Rescue Services, Israel Nature and Parks Authority and Jewish National Fund.
Following the Carmel forest fire, the Israel Air Force established the Aerial Firefighting Unit in May 2011. Since its establishment, the unit has tackled 150 fires. The unit’s seven Air Tractor F-802 aircrafts are stationed at Sde Dov Airport. Each aircraft has one engine; can fly three hours without refueling and is capable of carrying nearly 3,000 liters of water.
In December 2011, the Carmel forest fire raged for four days–the worst in Israel’s history–leaving 44 people dead; burning 100 homes; covering approximately 10,000 acres of forest and structures; and scorching almost four million trees.