Whoa, I Didn’t See This One Coming

Seriously. I got caught napping.

The US is sending an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group (or at least a Strike Group) to Israel – along with several thousand US troops. AND, they are integrating US and Israeli command staff – both at EUCOM in Germany and at HaKirya in Tel Aviv (Israel’s version of the Pentagon).

And, this isn’t just a one-off exercise because it’s being referred to as a deployment. So, quite a bit of what appears in and around Israel – and is American – will stick around after the exercise is over.

How far will this integration go?

It’s hard to know, but it must be something of a relief to Israeli command staff to see the US military treating threats in the region so seriously.

Unfortunately, the US is a fickle benefactor, so I would be careful about how excited to get by this development. But, this is still big.

May it bode well for Israel’s future.

US commander visits Israel to finalize missile drill

Jerusalem Post, by Yaakov Katz, 12/20/2011

Israel, US to hold largest ever missile defense exercise this spring; thousands of US soldiers will be deployed in Israel.

Israel is moving forward with plans to hold the largest-ever missile defense exercise in its history this spring amid Iranian efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.

Last week, Lt.-Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of the US’s Third Air Force based in Germany, visited Israel to finalize plans for the upcoming drill, expected to see the deployment of several thousand American soldiers in Israel.

The drill, which is unprecedented in its size, will include the establishment of US command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at EUCOM headquarters in Germany – with the ultimate goal of establishing joint task forces in the event of a large-scale conflict in the Middle East.

The US will also bring its THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) and shipbased Aegis ballistic missile defense systems to Israel to simulate the interception of missile salvos against Israel.

The American systems will work in conjunction with Israel’s missile defense systems – the Arrow, Patriot and Iron Dome.

Gorenc came to Israel for talks with Brig.-Gen. Doron Gavish, commander of the Air Force’s Air Defense Division.

Read the rest of the article here.