The visit of the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Admiral Brad Cooper to Israel concluded today.
This was the third visit of the Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command to Israel in the last six months, reflecting the close cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli Navies. The visit demonstrates the importance of the strategic and operational connection between the fleets.
At the height of the visit was a meeting led by the Chief of the General Staff LTG Aviv Kohavi. In attendance was the Commander in Chief of the Israeli Navy, VADM David Saar Salama. At the meeting, the commanders talked about promoting international cooperation and strengthening ties in order to continue protecting and monitoring international waters, vital to international trade and regional stability in the Middle East. In addition, VADM Cooper met with the Head of the Strategic Planning and Cooperation Directorate (J5), Maj. Gen. Tal Kelman.
The visit also strengthened the dialogue between the fleets regarding joint activities. VADM 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 (N) Eli Soholitzky.
Chief of the General Staff, LTG Aviv Kohavi, commented: “Maritime cooperation between the IDF and the U.S. military is another example of the strength of the strategic relationship between the two militaries. The joint work with the U.S. military will continue to yield many achievements for Israel and our security. Together, we will continue to face the challenges ahead in order to maintain stability in the Middle East.”
Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, VADM Brad Cooper, said: “This visit reflects our strong commitment to the enduring strategic relationship fostered over decades. Our bilateral maritime partnership is built on trust and shared interests in maintaining security and stability in the surrounding seas. I believe exciting opportunities lie ahead as we strengthen and expand our naval cooperation throughout the region.”