USAF Chief of Staff visits Israel

Israel and the US maintain close relations on many levels and this week’s visit by United States Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein only further cements these close ties.

The United States Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein visited Israel this week for an extensive tour of Israel’s Air Force (IAF), with the purpose of “preserving and strengthening the strategic cooperation between the countries and forces,” the IAF stated Wednesday.

This is Goldfein’s first visit in Israel since assuming his position in July, and his first trip abroad as the USAF commander.

During his visit, Goldfein was exposed to the IAF’s various fields of operation, learned about its growing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Division, and explored the integration of the stealth F-35 fighters, which are slated to land in Israel from the US at the end of this year.

He also visited the “Defensive Sword” Unit which operates the “Arrow” System, the anti-exoatmospheric ballistic missiles system, and experienced a simulator sortie in Hazor Air Force Base’s Advanced Mission Training Center, in which he teamed up with Capt. A, a female operator.

“The USAF Chief of Staff’s decision to visit Israel in his first official trip in office reflects the depth of the mutual alliance between the countries,” Maj. Roei, of the IAF’s International Relations Unit, emphasized. “The General has sustained his predecessors’ obligation to the continuity of the fruitful relations between the USAF and IAF.”

The IAF’s Human Side

A large segment of the visit was dedicated to “the people behind the weapons systems and aircraft.” In a mutual combatant discourse led by IAF commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel and Gen. Goldfein, combatants from the IAF’s various divisions convened to discuss the issue.

“One of the themes of the conversation was familial heritage, as Gen. Goldfein is a second generation in the USAF and his brother and daughter are also USAF personnel”, shared Maj. Roei, who represented the Transport Division in the conversation. “We spoke about the feeling of immediate defense of the homefront that is prominent in the IAF and is not a central characteristic in the US Military.”

A strategic agreement between the Israeli and US Air Forces that was formulated last month was signed last Thursday by Brig. Gen. Tal Kelman, Chief of Air Staff and Maj. Gen. Lawrence M. Martin, Jr., the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs.

In the meeting, the two established the cooperation between the forces and signed a mutual work plan for 2017, with the crowning jewel being the integration of the F-35 fighter in both forces.

“This is a meeting of great strategic importance with our most significant partner. In the meeting we promoted all of the cooperative fields with the USAF, while emphasizing the cooperation in preparation of the arrival of the ‘Adir’ (F-35I) in December”, said Brig. Gen. Kelman

The document outlines the arrangement of a mutual work plan, from joint exercises, through aerial medicine and flight safety, and delineates mutual work principles, with the purpose “of strengthening the bond between the forces and deepening the relations between the commanders.”

By: World Israel News Staff