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Press Release | April 28, 2023

CENTCOM Commander Visits Israeli Defense Leaders


April 28, 2023

Release Number 20230428-01


TAMPA, Fla. – From April 27 to 28, Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command, visited Israel to meet with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and leadership from the Israel Defense Forces.

During the visit, Kurilla, IDF Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, and senior IDF officers, observed maritime operations with Flotilla 13, Israel’s Navy commando unit. Kurilla and Halevi also discussed ongoing security operations, land and maritime border security operations, planned joint training events, and opportunities to significantly increase collaboration and interoperability of U.S. and Israeli military forces.

In a private meeting, Gallant and Kurilla spoke of opportunities to strengthen relations between CENTCOM and the IDF to address threats to the region.

“As with every visit with the IDF, I was thoroughly impressed with the capability and warfighting readiness I saw here,” said Kurilla. “The elite Israeli troops I saw today are representative of the discipline and high-level skill I’ve observed across the IDF.

“Our strategic partnerships within the region – to include our longstanding, unbreakable bond with the Israel Defense Forces – are critical to security and stability. All these trips to the region inform my understanding of the threats and challenges faced by each country and the capabilities available. This visit reinforced the importance of this relationship and the many opportunities ahead of us for the Middle East.”