US Army Maj. Gen. John Gronski (R) and IDF Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich. (IDF) (IDF)
US Army Maj. Gen. John Gronski (R) and IDF Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich

For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, the US Military established a facility there, flying the American flag on Israeli soil.

The IDF on Monday announced a milestone development in its relations with the US army: the establishment of the first permanent US Military facility on Israeli soil, located within an Israeli Air Force (IAF) base in southern Israel.

“We’ve established, for the first time in the State of Israel, the IDF, a permanent US Military facility, flying the American flag,” said Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Division.

The new US facility, located within the IAF’s School of Aerial Defense, will house dozens of American soldiers, permanently stationed in Israel as part of a task force.

Two years in the making, the facility will provide a space for the IAF and American task force to improve detection, interception, and deployment in aerial defense, while strengthening cooperation, in addition to housing US operational systems.

Maj. Gen. John Gronski, deputy commanding officer of the Army National Guard of US Army Europe, led the US delegation participating in the ceremony.

The base “represents the first ever stationing of a US Army unit on Israeli soil,” Gronski stated. “The US and Israel have long planned together, exercised together, trained together. And now, with the opening of this site, these crucial interactions will occur every day. We’ll have Israeli airmen, US soldiers living and working side by side.”

This collaboration extends to day-to-day life for the task force as well – the American facility is a US Military zone that will operate under IDF guidelines and regulations. “Part of the process of establishing the foundation stems from the process of a culture of cooperation. I appreciate the way the Americans respect the State of Israel,” said Haimovich.

In another development in the IAF’s aerial defense capabilities, it established a new Iron Dome battalion last week.

“This brings more systems and more capabilities, and better organization in the northern and southern operational sectors,” Haimovich said. “This battalion is one of the takeaways of Operation Protective Edge and of our operational understanding of the threats we deal with today, and are expecting to deal with in the future.”

By: United with Israel Staff