Defense

August 2, 2012

Iron Dome System demonstrates U.S-Israeli partnership

Tags:
by Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak brief the press at an Iron Dome anti-missile site in Ashkelon, Israel, Aug. 1, 2012. Panetta is on a five-day trip to the region to meet with leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Jordan.

ASHKELON, Israel – After passing through an orchard of fruit-laden apple trees and passing fields of corn and vegetables, it’s jarring to come across a rocket launcher.

But that’s the scene near this southern Israeli city.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited with Israeli air force personnel protecting Ashkelon from terrorist attacks. The city is less than 10 miles away from Gaza, and terrorists there have launched hundreds of missiles and mortar rounds into Israel.

The rocket launcher, radar and battle management and control module in this pasture are part of the Iron Dome network designed to track and shoot down missiles fired at Israeli cities.

This is a country constantly on its guard, even as regular workaday life continues. About 200 meters from the battery are apartment buildings with wash hanging off the balconies and a beautifully appointed playground. Farmers work in the fields, and cars whiz by on the Israeli version of an interstate. These are targets for the terrorists who use Gaza as a launching point.

The system has shot down scores of missiles that would have killed Israeli citizens since it was fielded in April 2011. During a joint news conference with Barak at the battery, Panetta said Iron Dome “has been a game changer for Israel’s security. It has saved Israeli lives.” Barak said it has a more than 80 percent success rate.

The battery also is a concrete example of how the U.S.-Israeli defense partnership works. The Israelis developed Iron Dome, and the United States has committed more than $205 million to fielding the system. Last week, President Barack Obama signed a law providing another $70 million to field more batteries this fiscal year. Panetta said his goal is to ensure Israel has the funding it needs in coming fiscal years to complete fielding the system.

But the defense relationship is more than just one system. Panetta said the defense relationship – based on shared values and goals – “is stronger than it has ever been before.”

The partnership between the two nations is more important today because of the security challenges arising from the region, the secretary said. Syria, Iran and the threats of terrorism and nuclear and missile proliferation are just some of the challenges facing the region and the world.

“Our ties with the United States have expanded in a range of areas including intelligence, high-tech and securing the qualitative military edge of Israel,” the Israeli defense minister said. “The defense relationship underpins greater and wider cooperation between the two countries.”

Another example of the U.S. commitment to Israel is Israel’s involvement in the joint strike fighter program, the secretary said.

“Israel is the only country in the Middle East participating in this program,” Panetta said. “This will ensure Israel’s air superiority for years to come.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 18, 2014

News: U.S. mission in Iraq could expand, Pentagon official says - The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government, a Pentagon spokesman said Aug. 19.   Business: Fuel deals top...
 
 

News Briefs August 20, 2014

Trials complete on fourth Coast Guard cutter Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., has completed acceptance sea trials for the company’s fourth U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter, Hamilton. Jim French, Ingalls’ NSC program manager, tells The Mississippi Press) the Hamilton is scheduled to be delivered next month and commissioned on Dec. 6 in Charleston, South...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval

Air Force, Army Aviation come together to complete vital mission in Egypt

Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval Soldiers and airmen load a UH-60 Black Hawk into an Air Force C17 Globemaster III Aug. 19, 2104, at an old Israeli airstrip in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. The airstrip is now used by the M...
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden

Joint effort validates ability to move Stryker vehicles via air

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden An Army Stryker combat vehicle is guided into a C-17 Globemaster III during a 25th Infantry Division training exercise Aug. 13, 2014, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The Str...
 
 
NASA image

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

NASA image Satellites observed the largest ozone hole over Antarctica in 2006. Purple and blue represent areas of low ozone concentrations in the atmosphere; yellow and red are areas of higher concentrations. NASA research show...
 
 

F-16V completes major capability milestone

The newest configuration of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-16V, has reached a major capability milestone with the integration of a new Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Completing this milestone on schedule demonstrates our ability to meet program commitments, said Roderick McLean, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>