First permanent US military base inaugurated in Israel

The new base, inaugurated Monday by Israeli and US officials, will be located at the Israel Defense Forces Air Defense School in southern Israel, near Beersheba. It will house barracks for dozens of American troops to be stationed in the country and a missile defense system, and operate under Israeli military directives. Israeli Air Force Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, head of Israel’s aerial defense branch, said the base will serve as “a joint Israeli and American effort to sustain and enhance our defensive capabilities. It’s a message that says Israel is better prepared, and improving the response to threats.” The Pentagon already operates more than one independent facility in the Negev Desert for early warning of a possible Iranian missile attack. Israel has been increasingly concerned with Iran’s development of long-range missiles and considers the country to be its greatest threat.

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