Goldfein awarded Eshel with the Legion of Merit, one of the highest awards that America can bestow on a foreign citizen.

Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, General David Goldfein, attended the Israeli Air Force change of command ceremony at Tel Nof Air Base on Monday and awarded the Legion of Merit (Commander Degree) to outgoing Israeli Air Force (IAF) Commander Maj. General Amir Eshel, one of the highest awards that America  bestows on foreign citizens.

The Legion of Merit (LOM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The decoration is issued to members of the seven uniformed services of the United States as well as to military and political figures of foreign governments.

The LOM is one of only two United States military decorations to be issued as a neck order (the other being the Medal of Honor) and the only United States military decoration which may be issued in award degrees.

Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin officially took up his post as IAF commander on Monday. Norkin replaced Eshel, who served in the position for the last five-and-a-half years and will retire after a 40-year military career.

“The IAF in the coming years will intensify integrative capabilities both in building its force and in exercising its force,” Norkin said. The IAF will also “continue to strengthen its ties with foreign air forces, near and far, and to strengthen Israel’s standing in the region and globally,” added Norkin.

Eshel said the IAF was a world leader in its offensive and defensive aerial capabilities and its ability to work with ground and naval forces. “The IAF’s offensive and defensive capabilities have been built in recent years in thousands of missions both nearby and thousands of kilometers from home. Threats have been neutralized, targets destroyed, missiles and aerial vehicles brought down. The IAF’s achievements are of strategic importance, nationally, in the Middle East and far beyond our borders,” Eshel said.

By: United with Israel Staff and TPS

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