The Israeli military kicked-off a wide-scale military exercise with the core aim of examining the IDF Northern Command’s operational capabilities. The drill includes both units on active duty and reservists. It is taking place in northern Israel, along the Jezreel Valley and in the Upper Galilee, where troop, vehicular and aerial movement is visible.
This is the second comprehensive military exercise during 2019, under IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, who is personally overseeing the drill. The exercise comes just several days after the Israeli Air Force concluded its own international drill titled “Blue Flag.” The aerial exercise drew much interest from Western powers, as it focused on the advanced fifth-generation F-35 stealth aircraft.
Meanwhile the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, four-star General David L. Goldfein, concluded an official work visit to Israel, during which he met with IDF Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi and his Israeli counterpart, Major General Amikam Norkin. During the visit, General Kochavi “awarded General Goldfein with the ‘IDF Chief of the General Staff’ award at the IDF Headquarters base that is situated in the central city of Tel Aviv.
Furthermore, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s unit, General Goldfein held a series of meetings with General Norkin, during which they discussed military cooperation between the two countries, and among others, the Israeli “air force’s transition to fifth-generation jets.” The U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff said “It is an incredible honor for me to be here. Not only to be able to see the incredible technology that Israel brings to bear, but also the courage that we have seen – even recently with operations to protect and defend Israel. And, if I have one message, it is that we stand shoulder to shoulder with you, we always have and we always will. We hold Israel in such a high regard in terms of the professionalism of the air force, so today is really an honor to be here.” Israeli Air Force Commanding Officer voiced the opinion that “It is a unique opportunity for us to have this visit especially today after the operation in the Gaza Strip. General Goldfein is a real friend and we both stand in front of the F-35 which is the most important project in the Israeli Air Force, I think in all of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). And thank you again for the unique support of the American Air Force to the Israeli Air Force.”