Photo Credit: IDF
Commander of the Israeli Navy Vice Adm. David Saar Salama (left) with Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces under Central Command, who wrapped up another visit to Israel on Jan. 10, 2022.

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, Commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command (CENTCOM), concluded a visit to Israel on Monday, his third visit in six months.

Cooper met with IDF Chief of the General Staff LTG Aviv Kochavi and Israel Navy Commander David Sa’ar Salama to “discuss joint military activities and mutual security achievements from our cooperation.”

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The visit “constitutes another tier of cooperation of the important strategic operational relationship between the fleets,” the IDF stated.

Cooper stated that the visit “reflects our deep commitment to the strategic relationship between the fleets, which has lasted for many years. The maritime partnership between the forces is based on trust and the common interest in preserving security and stability in the regional maritime arena.”

“I believe that there are many more opportunities on our way, as we continue to promote and deepen maritime cooperation in the region,” he added.

Cooper also met with the IDF’s head of the strategic planning and cooperation directorate (J5), Maj. Gen. Tal Kelman. “The visit strengthened the dialogue between the fleets regarding joint activities,” stated the IDF, adding that Cooper “was briefed on the challenges in the southern maritime arena and the economic waters including Israel’s offshore assets by the commander of the Southern Maritime Arena, Capt. Eli Soholitzky.”

CENTCOM is responsible for the Middle East, including Iran. The IDF was transferred to CENTCOM from EUCOM in January 2021 after the signing of the Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Since its transfer to CENTCOM, the IDF has held several drills with US forces stationed in the Middle East.

Most recently in November, the IDF Ground Forces and US Marine Corps Forces Central Command (MARCENT) troops completed a two-week-long multi-force training exercise conducted in Israel.

The US Marines trained alongside IDF troops with an emphasis on open and urban field combat. The exercise included 500 US Marines staging a beach-storming drill in Eilat.

Content from JNS was used in this report.

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