“We have to train together because the mission is a complex and a critical one” In times of war, an American force dedicated to assisting in the defense of the country will deploy to Israel. The commander of JDF-I (Joint Defense Force-Israel) talkes about the force’s future plans
“We have a deep, uncompromising commitment to the security of the State of Israel, a commitment that is based on the special relationship between our countries. The moment the State of Israel notifies us that it is in need of our assistance, we will come to help in defending it”.
This unequivocal declaration was made by Lieutenant General Darryl Roberson, JDF-I Commander. The JDF-I is designated to arrive in Israel in times of war and to operate weapons and systems that it will bring along.
Lieutenant General Roberson, who took up his position several months ago, came for the first time to Israel, mostly to get acquainted with the capabilities of the IAF’s Active Defense Division in different units, with the commanders of different divisions, with the lessons of the “Juniper Cobra” (The joint exercise between the United States and Israel which was held in May and included defensive scenarios) and in order to get to know the IAF.
“We work jointly during our routine so that in times of war, we will be able to do our job as best as we can. We have to train together because the mission is a complex and a critical one”, he explained.
Regarding the size of the American force that would deploy to Israel during war, Roberson said: “Naturally, I cannot discuss the numbers of troops or describe all the weapon systems, but what is important is the fact that we will bring with us everything necessary to defend the State of Israel”.
Besides his role as the JDF-I Commander, Lieutenant General Roberson is the 3rd Air Force Commander in USAFE (United States Air Forces in Europe).
Regarding the war on IS, he said: “It is important to emphasize that the American jet-fighters that attack the IS organization come from all around the world”, he explains. “Because the goal is the destruction of IS and different forces are being dispatched to accomplish the goal”.
One of the unique weapons that have been used on a large scale in the aerial campaign against the “Islamic State” is the F-22 (Raptor). Just the mere mention of it makes Lieutenant General Roberson smile. “I, myself, am a ‘Raptor’ pilot, even though at the moment, because of my job, I don’t fly too much”, he says. “Though the ‘Raptor’ has taken part in operational missions in the past, this is actually the first time in history it is dropping bombs. I can’t go too much into detail about the weaponry we used, but I can say that it is GPS-guided weaponry that has hit its intended targets”.