First Permanent US Base in Israel to Defend Against Missiles

Laura Christensen
September 21, 2017

On Monday, the Israeli Air Force declared that the USA military's European Command (EUCOM) had opened a "base within a base" at the IDF's air defense school, west of the towns of Dimona and Yeruham 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.

"As we understand, it was on a reconnaissance mission along the border and the Golan Heights on behalf of Hezbollah", an Israeli military spokesman, Jonathan Conricus, told reporters. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the IAF's Aerial Defense Division.

The new USA base will wave the American flag for the first time and house dozens of US soldiers permanently stationed there.

"This symbolizes the strong bond that exists between the United States and Israel", Maj.

Israeli army sources said that cooperation between the Israeli Air Force and the US Army has been routine.

This time a year ago, the United States pledged $38 billion dollars - the largest amount in its history - over the span of a decade while Obama was president, despite his sour relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Gen. Zvi Haimovitch called "nothing less than historic".

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The base, Haimovitch stated, "represents the long-standing partnership, the strategic commitment between the armies and the militaries of our countries" and "adds another layer to the security of the State of Israel in defending the threats of rocket or missile fire". There are conflicting reports regarding which military specifically will retain jurisdiction over the base.

Haimovitch noted that in addition to the establishment of the U.S. base on Monday, Israel's collaboration with the Americans on air defense would again be seen in a few months, when the two militaries launch the Juniper Cobra exercise in February. The soldiers themselves will also be dedicated to air defense efforts. It has since been used during two military operations against Hamas, and since its first deployment has intercepted roughly 85 percent of projectiles fired toward Israeli civilian centers, changing the face of battle between Israel and her enemies.

"The State of Israel, the IDF and the Air Force know, knew and will know how to protect themselves in war- and peacetime", he said.

Meanwhile, another Iron Dome battalion has been established that will allow the system to be operated from Israeli Navy ships.

Haimovitch pointed to the long-range Arrow 3 and medium-range David's Sling missile defense systems that went operational over the past year, as well as the expansion of the short-range Iron Dome program.

Other reports by My Hot News

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