Benny Gantz with CENTCOM
Benny Gantz with CENTCOM U.S. Central Command, Sgt. John Onuoha.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (National Unity) on Thursday concluded a visit to the CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

The Minister was hosted by CENTCOM Commander, General Michael Kurilla, and met with CENTCOM leadership. He also toured the on-base operations room and viewed the KC-135 refueling squadron.

As part of the visit, the parties discussed operational cooperation, both defensive and offensive in nature, in face of a variety of threats - with a primary focus on Iranian aggression. Among other topics, the parties reviewed the possibility of increasing maritime, land, cyber and intelligence training and cooperation.

Minister Gantz thanked General Kurilla for the strategic cooperation between Israel and CENTCOM, which is critical to the security of the world, the region and Israel.

In his remarks, delivered during his visit to the refueling squadron, Gantz said: "First, I would like to thank General Kurilla for his hospitality. Israel's cooperation with CENTCOM and the countries of the region is a game changer for peace and security in the region - particularly in facing Iran and its proxies."

"We will continue to deepen our cooperation, prepare our activities against Iranian proxies, and make sure that Iran never gains a nuclear weapon. We are all aware of the need to prevent Iran from gaining a ‘nuclear umbrella’ for its aggressive actions.

"This will be the message that I will convey during my visit to Washington and in my meeting with National Security Advisor Sulivan."