image Photo: Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD)

CENTCOM Cmdr. visits Israel

The latest trip coincides with a wide-scale IDF exercise focusing on simultaneous campaigns in multiple arenas.

By Erin Viner

Commander General Michael Kurilla of the United States military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) arrived in the country to participate in a situational assessment as part of the annual IDF General Staff Firm Hand Exercise conducted in accordance with the pre-planned 2023 training program.

The two week training program includes simulations of intense multi-arena combat in the aerial, maritime, ground, spectrum and cyber arenas aimed at testing IDF readiness for a prolonged campaign in a multitude of arenas, said a statement from the Israeli military obtained by TV7. All active duty and reserve troops from all commands, branches and directorates will participate in the exercise focused on the simultaneous confrontation of challenges and developing incidents in a variety of scenarios.

General Kurilla’s three-day visit began at the HUMINT (human intelligence) Unit 504 of the IDF Intelligence Directorate, where he briefed on the latest activity, as well as with the changes and developments in the field, as well as plans for future operations.

Afterward, IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi led an operational panel during which the CENTCOM chief discussed cooperation between the IDF and the US Armed Forces with senior Israeli commanders, the strengthening of joint operational capabilities, the continued design of professional plans and operational coordination.

At another situational assessment at the General Staff Operations Center, Gen. Kurilla was briefed on how the Firm Hand exercise is testing IDF readiness to engage on multiple fronts at the same time, with use of innovative combat methods and adapted military capabilities; with special emphasis placed on the operational partnership with the US Armed Forces.

Gen. Halevi and Gen. Kurilla also conducted a private professional meeting, and later talks with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Israel was ‘repositioned’ in 2021 to CENTCOM (from EUCOM [European Command], which now concentrates on Russia and its threats against Europe and NATO).

“The US Armed Forces and the IDF will continue strengthening their operational relationship with a mutual commitment to maintaining regional security,” underscored a statement from the Israeli  military.