'Nothing Less Than Historic': US Christens First Military Base Ever in Israel

'Nothing Less Than Historic': US Christens First Military Base Ever in Israel

'Nothing Less Than Historic': US Christens First Military Base Ever in Israel

In terms of goal, the base, which has been in development for two years, will use US systems to identify aerial threats, which according to Israel is a growing concern, especially because Iran is making major gains in Syria through its proxy force Hezbollah.

The base is located within the IAF's School of Aerial Defense and will house dozen of USA soldiers permanently stationed in Israel as part of a task force.

"There's an American presence here, a military force, not civilians". Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the IAF's Aerial Defense Division.

The Israeli military said the new base is located inside an existing Israel Air Force base in the southern region.

Several dozen American soldiers will be stationed at the base, and they will be operating American systems, not Israeli ones, he said. "I appreciate the way the Americans respect the state of Israel", Haimovich said.

Fighter jets were scrambled but did not attack the aircraft, and instead a single Patriot missile shot it down, he said.

Before that, the U.S directly invested $205 million in Israel's Iron Dome in 2010. "These two moves, the American base and the establishment of the new battalion, bring more capabilities", Haimovitch stated.

Haimovitch on Monday lauded the opening of the facility for allowing "us to improve our defense, in discovery and in interception and in preparedness".

According to an August report by Defense News, Israel's state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the main contractor of the Iron Dome system, and Raytheon, its U.S. partner for Iron Dome production, are working to transform the Israeli interceptor into an American system to use for the defense of forward-deployed USA forces.

The air defense chief said the permanent presence of a U.S. facility on Israeli soil sends a "message to the region and our surroundings that our partnership with our friend the United States is important".

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