Today, the IDF announced a key development in Israel-US relations: a permanent US Military facility on Israeli soil, located within an Israeli Air Force (IAF) base in southern Israel. “We’ve established, for the first time in the State of Israel, the IDF, a permanent US Military facility, flying the American flag,” says Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Division. The facility, located within the IAF’s School of Aerial Defense, will house dozens of American soldiers, permanently stationed in Israel as part of a task force.
Two years in the making, the facility will provide a space for the IAF and American task force to improve detection, interception, and deployment in aerial defense, while strengthening cooperation. This extends to day-to-day life for the task force as well – the American facility is a US Military zone that will operate under IDF guidelines and regulations. “Part of the process of establishing the foundation stems from the process of a culture of cooperation. I appreciate the way the Americans respect the State of Israel.”
Brig. Gen. Haimovich also cited another development in the IAF’s aerial defense capabilities. Last week, the IAF established a new Iron Dome battalion. “This brings more systems and more capabilities, and better organization in the northern and southern operational sectors,” he says. “This battalion is one of the takeaways of Operation Protective Edge and of our operational understanding of the threats we deal with today, and are expecting to deal with in the future.”