US and Israel holding joint air military exercises

Israel Air Force
An Israeli air force Apache fly over spectators during a graduation ceremony for new pilots in Hatzerim air force base near the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, Israel, Thursday, June 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

US and Israel holding joint air military exercises

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The U.S. and Israeli air forces are conducting joint exercises this week over the Mediterranean Sea and Israel.

The aerial drills, which commenced on Tuesday and will continue through Thursday, will include fighter jets, refuelers, and long-range flights.

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“The US Air Force is conducting fighter escort and refueling exercises over Israeli airspace as part of a partner nation integration event,” U.S. Air Forces Central spokeswoman Capt. Kayshel Trudell told the Washington Examiner. “Exercises like these are routine, and we regularly conduct them with coalition and partner nation air forces across the region.”

Israeli and Iranian leaders have continued to engage in hostilities, with the former having significantly increased its readiness level this year while the latter has sought to continue its nuclear ambitions.

This week’s military exercises come a week after Israeli Defense Force chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi visited Washington, D.C. During his time in the United States, he visited with Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. The two leaders “discussed regional security issues, opportunities for greater bilateral cooperation and coordination to defend against a wide range of threats posed by Iran across the region and other items of mutual strategic interest,” read a readout of the meeting from Joint Staff spokesman Col. Dave Butler.

Days earlier, and before Kohavi arrived in Washington, Gen. Michael Kurilla, the commander of U.S. Central Command, met with him and other senior IDF officials. Throughout Kurilla’s visit, the military leaders discussed ways to improve Israel’s integrated defense, and the CENTCOM leader reiterated his support for the U.S.-Israel partnership.

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“Israel maintains a remarkably impressive airpower capability here in the Nevatim Air Force Base. The Israeli Air Force maintains world-class air power with cutting-edge systems, the highest level of professionalism, and a first-class combat capability,” Kurilla said.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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