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First Visit of USAF Secretary to IAF Release date 04.05.2015
USAF Secretary, Miss Deborah Lee James, arrived for an historic visit to the IAF this week. She visited IAF Hatzor Airbase and "Iron Dome" battery and declared: "We are right there with you"
Noa Fenigstein

The Secretary of the United States Air Force, Miss Deborah Lee James, landed in Israel as a guest of Major General Amir Eshel, the IAF Commander, for an historic visit to the IAF and the first in the history of cooperation between the forces.

"The USAF is the most important partner of the IAF. We share common values, interests and challenges", said IAF Commander. "The secretary's visit symbolizes the deep connection between the IAF and the USAF and our desire to significantly deepen it even further".

The secretary of the USAF is personally appointed by the US president and is directly subjected to the US Secretary of Defense. Under her administration and command is the USAF as well as the ANG (Air National Guard).
"The connection between our forces and our people is very strong", said Secretary James to the IAF commander. "It has been the situation for years and always will be. We are right there with you".

"Thank you for your support"
As part of her visit, USAF secretary arrived at the "Iron Dome" Battery in Ashkelon last night. Apart from touring the site and reviewing the battery's operation during Operation "Protective Edge" last summer, the secretary met with Berry Kaufman, a soldier in the "Iron Dome" unit who came from San Francisco.

"I moved to Israel by myself a year and a half ago and when I enlisted I specifically asked to serve in the 'Iron Dome' unit. For me it was the clear choice", he told her. "I truly feel like we're doing a very important job and it is an honor to serve in this unit".

The secretary also visited Hatzor Air Base, where she viewed the Advanced Training Center and met with the air crews of the "Scorpion" Squadron.
"We operate American systems alongside Israeli ones and do it proudly", said the Squadron Commander. "We are here to protect our only home. Personally I'm very happy for this visit and the opportunity to tell you our story and say thank you for your support".

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Photo by: Hagar Amibar