1. The Kibbutz That is Saving American Soldiers' Lives
Kibbutz Sasa has gone from a small struggling kibbutz to one of the greatest success stories in the global defense industry, saving countless U.S. soldiers with life-saving armor technology, Ha’aretz reported. “American soldiers come up to us at exhibitions and tell me that they won’t get into any vehicle that has not been armor-protected by Plasan,” said one Plasan employee. “To date, there has not been a single soldier killed by fire while in a vehicle that we armor-protected.”
2. U.S. Increases Missile Defense Cooperation with Israel
President Obama signed the fiscal year 2010 Defense Appropriations Act, which contains $202.8 million for Israel’s Arrow-2, Arrow-3, and the short-range missile defense program “David’s Sling,” The Jerusalem Post reported. The funding includes an additional $12.5 million to develop the upper-tier Arrow-3 system, $34.3 million for the short-range “David’s Sling” program, and $36 million for the completion of the Arrow-2 program.
3. National Guard and IDF Collaborate
With a continuing stream of shared threats and concerns to deal with, the IDF Home Front Command and the U.S. National Guard have decided to exchange liaisons to help facilitate their cooperation, The Jerusalem Post reported. Israel will station an officer in Washington, D.C., while the U.S. will station an officer in Ramle, Israel. The plan to exchange officers arose during a visit by U.S. National Guard officials in 2008.
4. U.S. Airmen Train in Israel
U.S. airmen from Ramstein Air Base in Germany recently participated in a 10-day exercise in Israel, according to U.S. European Command (EUCOM). Training was conducted to accomplish various requirements for the C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft. “The Israelis were eager to host us as they are supposed to be getting J-models in the near future,” said Capt. Sarah Santoro, 37th Airlift Squadron mission commander. “They seem impressed with the airplanes. The Israelis have been a phenomenal partner. The interaction has allowed us to take away and learn a lot.”
5. U.S.-Israeli Strategic Cooperation Quietly Increasing
The United States and Israel are continuing to work on ensuring that Israel retains and improves it qualitative military edge in the region, The Forward reported. With the planned sale of advanced systems such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, missile defense cooperation, and overall defense industry alliances, the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship continues to grow. While outstanding issues remain, both sides are working diligently to resolve issues to make certain that gaps do not occur in either country’s military requirements.