Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey is on a multi-day trip to Israel and Jordan, the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced. Gen. Dempsey met with his Israeli counterpart, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, and discussed regional challenges such as the continuing conflict in Syria, the unrest in Egypt and Iran’s nuclear pursuit.
Gen. Mark A. Welsh departed Israel on August 8 after a four-day work visit, the U.S. Air Force announced. Welsh visited as a guest of Israel Air Force chief Maj. General Amir Eshel. They discussed a number of topics, including mutual security challenges, and plan to further strengthen the cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli air forces.
The American and Israeli air forces launched a joint drill, the IDF announced. Codenamed Juniper Stallion 13, the exercise lasted two weeks and was part of a regularly scheduled training between the two nations. This training exercise combines F-15/F-16 air-to-air maneuvers designed to improve the interoperability and cooperation between the two air forces.
Israel has offered to waive funding protection and not be excused from cuts in security assistance triggered by sequestration, Defense News reported. “Our position is that we must bear the burden that our American friends are bearing,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren. The cuts Israel is now sustaining come to nearly $55 million.
Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) authored an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post that discusses the importance of maintaining U.S. support for the Iron Dome missile defense system, which has protected Israel from terrorist rocket attacks, and other related defense measures. The lawmakers note that in July they introduced the United States-Israel Missile Defense Cooperation Act of 2013 (H.R. 2717), which authorizes further assistance to and strategic cooperation between the two countries.