US CENTCOM Commander in Israel to Discuss Aerial Defense Array

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Photo by IDF on 16 July, 2022
By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 17 July, 2022

Jerusalem, 17 July, 2022 (TPS) — The Commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Gen. Michael Kurilla arrived in Israel for a visit to the IDF.

This is Kurilla’s second visit to Israel in his new position and follows the strategic-operational forum between our two militaries. Kurilla assumed command of CENTCOM in April and replaced Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.

The visit will focus on Israel’s aerial defense array.

Israel has been working on an extensive program to strengthen cooperation with the countries of the region, under the auspices of CENTCOM, which is responsible for the Middle East, including Iran.

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Touching on the recent extensive cooperation program in the Middle East, Minister of Defense Benny Gantz told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in June that the Middle East Air Defense Program (MEAD) has already thwarted Iranian attempts to challenge Israel and other countries, apparently confirming reports that Israel has developed a regional defense system shared with other Arab countries in the area, possibly with other members of CENTCOM.

Recent reports in the media told of unprecedented actions that have recently been taken by Israel to strengthen operational cooperation with neighboring air forces, with the objective of expanding Israel’s strategic depth and its ability to intercept threats beyond the country’s borders while defending the other countries as well.

Some reports say that Israel has deployed advanced warning systems in several Gulf countries, including in some that do not have official ties with the Jewish state, essentially creating a regional defense umbrella.

Most of the collaborations are confidential so as not to embarrass the partners in the emerging alliance. The parties’ common interest is the defense against the spread of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) sponsored terrorism, which includes attacks with drones and cruise missiles on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by Iranian proxies, including the Houthis in Yemen.

The IDF was transferred to CENTCOM from EUCOM in January 2021 after the signing of the Abraham Accords with the UAE and Bahrain. Since its transfer, the IDF has held several drills with US forces stationed in the Middle East.

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