Defense Digest- October 2015

Defense Digest
Defense Digest
October 2015

Gen. Joseph Dunford (center left) and Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot (center right) partake in an official welcoming ceremony at the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

U.S. Military Chief Visits Israel, Pledges Closer U.S.-Israel Cooperation

On his first overseas trip as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford traveled to Israel on Oct. 17, where he pledged to bolster the already robust military ties between the United States and Israel. During his two-day visit to the Jewish state, Dunford met with several of Israel's top leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I've been in my job for two weeks, this is the first country I'm visiting on my first trip,” Dunford said at the beginning of his meeting with the prime minister. “It reflects the important relationship the United States has with Israel. Quite frankly one of the foundational elements of that relationship is our military-to-military relationship.” During the meeting, Netanyahu and Dunford discussed tactics to counter Iran's malign behavior in the region and other challenges in the Middle East. Dunford also met with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

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Sec. Carter Pledges to Boost Israel's Qualitative Military Edge

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter pledged to enhance strategic cooperation with Israel, Defense News reported. His remarks come during Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s two-day visit to the United States. In an Oct. 27 address at Fort McNair, Sec. Carter highlighted the Pentagon’s “iron clad” commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME), and he invited his Israeli counterpart to the U.S. Naval Air Station at Patuxent River for a demonstration of the F-35 fighter jet. As early as next year, Israel is poised to become the first country in the region to receive the fifth-generation fighter jet. Praising the bilateral ties between the United States and Israel, Sec. Carter emphasized America’s commitment to Israel’s security through ongoing intelligence-sharing, cyber cooperation and continued support for Israeli missile defense programs. “Our defense relationship spans the entire spectrum from tunnels and terrorists right up through the high-end."

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Lockheed Martin, Israel Collaborate on Science-Oriented Preschool

The Israeli Education Ministry and U.S. aerospace giant Lockheed Martin are collaborating on a new science-oriented preschool in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, Israel Hayom reported. Featuring a science-based curriculum, the school will provide young Israelis with a strong foundation in scientific research. The programs are designed to attract students to scientific subjects, including astronomy, physics, chemistry and robotics. Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, Lockheed Martin President Marillyn Hewson, and Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett all attended the school’s dedication ceremony. The first phase of the program will begin with three schools in Beersheba, with the goal of expanding the initiative to other parts of the country.

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Israel Develops Ultrasound Technology to Detect Cracks in F-16 Wings

An Israeli Air Force technician has pioneered a new technique to find cracks on the wings of F-16 fighter jets through ultrasound technology, The Times of Israel reported. Instead of grounding the F-16s and manually disassembling each jet to search for hidden fissures, the Israeli Air Force is now applying gel to the wings and using ultrasound machines to scan for cracks. With quicker assessments of each plane, the new Israeli method significantly reduces the amount of labor and turnaround time required for each jet to undergo inspection. Israel currently has 75 Lockheed Martin F-16 jets in its inventory.

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United States, Israel Hold Joint Air Force Drill

The U.S. and Israeli Air Forces have commenced a joint two-week air force drill known as “Blue Flag,” Reuters reported. The biannual multinational exercise, held at Israel’s Uvda Air Base near the city of Eilat, is aimed at enhancing combat skills and interoperability. According to the Israeli military, the exercise “creates a multi-national learning environment, including fictional countries, in which participants can practice planning and execution of large air force operations.”

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