For the first time in history, the United States on Monday established an official, permanent military base in Israel: an air defense base in the heart of the Negev desert. Dozens of US Air Force soldiers will call home the new base, located inside the Israeli Air Force’s Mashabim Air Base, west of the towns of Dimona and Yerucham. Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovitch, head of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Command,

announced the establishment of the installation on Monday evening. “It’s nothing short of historic,” he said. It demonstrates the “years-old alliance between the United States and the State of Israel.” The Israeli brigadier general also told reporters the establishment of a permanent US base in Israel “allows us to improve our defense, in the discovery and in an interception and in preparedness.” READ MORE