Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis, United States Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation, visited Israel last week with the purpose of strengthening the cooperation between the USMC and the IAF. During his visit, General Davis met the Commander of the IAF and the Deputy Chief of the General Staff. At the center of the cooperation: air support

Tal Giladi

Another meaningful step forward in the strategic cooperation between the IAF and U.S Armed Forces was taken last week. Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis, United States Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation visited Israel with the purpose of strengthening the cooperation between the USMC and IAF. During his visit he met with Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, the commander of the IAF and with Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, with the purpose of building the foundations for future cooperation which will focus on the mission of air support for ground forces and joint missions of the aerial and ground forces.

Strengthening IAF and USMC Cooperation

Photography: Tel-Nof AFB PR

At the Center of the Cooperation: Air Support
During his visit, General Davis toured Tel-Nof AFB and visited its UAV, Fighter Jet and Transport Helicopter Squadrons. “There are many similarities between our air force and USMC Aviation”, ruled Col. Shay, Israeli Air Attaché to the U.S. “The air support mission is central for both forces and both sides have knowledge and experience that can contribute to each other, in operational and tactical aspects. In the short term, the cooperation will be expressed in joint training, while the ultimate goal is to deepen our relations as much as possible”.

Marine Corps Aviation was the first force in the world to receive the F-35 JSF and announce it as operational. The F-35I will land in Israel in the coming December, so both forces will operate in simultaneously, a fertile ground for cooperation and mutual learning around the integration process. 

Last year, General Eshel met with General Davis in Washington and last January, Brig. Gen. Yaron Rozen, the former Commander of the Air Support and Helicopter Division, visited various USMC Air Bases. “Besides professional insights, General Davis is interested in the simple, routine things that characterize the IAF, like the fact that in our squadrons, young pilots in their twenties fly alongside reservists in their fifties”, stated Col. Shay.

Strengthening IAF and USMC Cooperation

Photography: Tel-Nof AFB PR

Similar but Different
The “Noble Shirley” Joint Training Exercise in which the IAF and GOC (Ground Arm Command) Headquarters trained alongside the U.S Marine Corps and the U.S Army, was one of the two force’s most significant mutual activities. The exercise combined Israeli and American CH-53 helicopters and an Israeli UAV for the first time. “The Marine Corps Aviation’s main goal was to cooperate with the host country in order to learn new tactics, techniques and procedures from the IAF and be able to combine these elements in our training”, shared Maj. Daniel Robinson, a USMC CH-53E pilot who participated in the exercise. “The helicopter pilots, aircrew members and UAV operators learned that there are many similarities between our forces. Our mission may be different, but both forces are made up on devoted professionals that aspire to perform their missions in the safest and most efficient way”.

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