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Press Release | Jan. 18, 2023

CENTCOM Commander Visits Israel Defense Forces Leadership


January 18, 2023

Release Number 20230118-02


TAMPA, Fla. – On Jan. 16 and 17, Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command, traveled to Tel Aviv to visit the leadership of the Israel Defense Forces.

During the visit, Kurilla spoke with Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the new IDF Chief of General Staff, about regional threats, opportunities to strengthen the U.S.-IDF military relationship, and upcoming training exercises between CENTCOM forces and the IDF.

Kurilla also thanked Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, the outgoing IDF Chief of General Staff, for his leadership and commitment to the CENTCOM-IDF partnership. Kohavi oversaw the transition of Israel from the U.S. European Command area of responsibility to that of U.S. Central Command. Kohavi quickly established the foundation for a strong, abiding relationship between the IDF and CENTCOM. Kurilla also congratulated Kohavi on his retirement after 40 years of service to Israel.

Kurilla also met with Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant at the ministry headquarters. The leaders discussed the importance of deepening defense and technological cooperation between their respective militaries.

Finally, Kurilla visited the Israel Air Force headquarters and Air Operations Center where IAF leadership presented him with detailed briefings, demonstrations of IAF capabilities and

advancements, updates on regional threats and opportunities, and an overview of integrated air and missile defense.