1. U.S. Military Leader Visits Israel for Consultations
The commander of the U.S. European Command, General John Craddock, recently visited Israel for a series of high-level meetings with Israeli defense leaders, Ha’aretz reported. This is Craddock’s first visit to Israel since last year’s deployment of the X-Band radar to the Nevatim base, which regularly hosts air exercises between Israel and the United States. Craddock and Israeli defense leaders discussed the Iranian nuclear threat and the importance of missile defense to Israel’s security.
2. U.S., Israel Collaborate on Defense Projects
Tel Aviv University has been conducting defense research for a range of projects for both the U.S. and Israeli militaries, Middle East Newsline reported. The projects, including one for the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), show another way U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation benefits both countries. Former projects have included innovative ways to protect commercial aircraft from shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.
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3. Israel Uses New High-Tech Equipment in Gaza
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) employed a variety of new high-tech equipment during its recent operation in Gaza, The Jerusalem Post reported. The items included a softball-sized camera that can be thrown into a house to provide soldiers with real time information on possible dangers inside; a special door-buster connected to an M-16 to disrupt booby-trapped doors; and a new U.S. made sniper rifle. Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi said, "The Ground Forces Command is more prepared today than it was in the past decade to deal with the threats and challenges in the North and the Gaza Strip."
4. Israel Supplies UAV's to Dutch Troops in Afghanistan
The Netherlands, in its efforts to support the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, has signed an agreement with an Israeli UAV supplier to provide UAV’s to Dutch forces in Afghanistan, fightglobal.com reported. The agreement will run well into 2010. The UAV’s are expected to be operated through the United Kingdom and the United States. Canada has also recently acquired Israeli UAV’s to operate in Afghanistan.
5. U.S. Sailors Relax in Haifa Port
American sailors aboard the USS Vella Gulf Aegis guided missile cruiser recently enjoyed a port call to Haifa, Israel, for five days of rest and relaxation, The Jerusalem Post reported. In recent years, the U.S. Navy has been unable to visit due to security concerns, though in past decades Haifa was a regular port call for American sailors. The renewed visits have been viewed positively by both sides, providing sailors with a location to relax and giving the local economy a boost. According to Jonathan Friedland, the American consul in Haifa, "Not only is there a huge economic impact for Haifa, but hosting the sailors is a great tradition of the city. Their visit has been absolutely positive."