General Carrol H. Chandler, Vice Chief of Staff of the US Air force, completed his three-day visit at the Israeli Air Force. The purpose of the visit was to introduce the General to the IAF’s capabilities, its area of work and people. In addition, the visit sought to enhance the collaboration between the US and Israeli air forces
Yuval Shoham and Tal Michael | Translated by: Nikolai Avrutov
In an exclusive interview to the IAF Magazine, General Chandler spoke of the recently signed deal for the purchase of the new F-35 fighter jet: “most of our allies plan to acquire this aircraft, and we are pleased to see the Israel air force as one of them. The acquisition will grant you access to new technologies, the kind we have been using in recent years. We will be able to support each other in times of need, and strengthen the cooperation between our forces”.
The general visited Palmahim air base on Sunday, and toured the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) squadron, and the “Protecting Sword” squadron which operates the “Arrow” battery (active, anti-missile defense). On Monday, the General visited the Hazerim air base, and its flight academy. Later the General toured a line of “Storm” (F-16I) fighter jets, at the “Knights of the Orange Tail” squadron. In the afternoon, the General met with the Israeli Air force Commander, Maj. Jen. Ido Nehushtan. Following the meeting, the General attended a Panel, headed by the Chief of Air force Headquarters, Brig. Gen. Nimrod Shefer. The panel included an intelligence report, and covered the advancement of the active missile defence systems. On the third (and his last) day, the General attended the “Yad Vashem” museum in Jerusalem (the Holocaust History Museum).
“The Israeli and American air forces, have been working together for many years”, said the General in his interview to the IAF Magazine. “The Israeli Air Force is a constant participant at the “Red Flag” exercises, in Nellis, Nevada Air force Base. I can say that the exercise is of a very high level, and we learn a lot from our Israeli colleagues. Over the years, we have had many discussions on operational matters, and shared lots of ideas. The last time I visited Israel was 19 years ago, and a lot have changed – its cities and military bases. The only thing which remained the same is the highest level of professionalism. Looking at the IAF’s capabilities, it is easy to understand the reason for our close and warm relations”.
THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH GENERAL CHANDLER WILL BE POSTED AT THE OCTOBER ISSUE OF THE IAF MAGAZINE.