US Military chief to bid farewell to IDF brass

July 18, 2011 13:29

Adm. Michael Mullen, scheduled to end tenure in October, will meet with Gantz, top IDF generals in sixth visit to Israel.

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US Chairman of Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen

US Chairman of Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the United States Adm. Michael Mullen will arrive in Israel on Monday night for a farewell dinner with the top IDF brass. It will be Mullen’s sixth visit to Israel since he was appointed chairman of the joint chiefs in 2007. Mullen's term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces is due to end in October.

Mullen will come to Israel from Afghanistan where he participated Monday morning in the change of command ceremony over American and coalition forces. Gen. John Allen took over command from Gen. David Petraeus who is retiring from the military to become the new director of the CIA.

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Mullen's schedule for Israel includes talks with Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and a dinner Monday evening with top IDF generals.

Mullen met with Gantz’s predecessor Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi close to 20 times over the past four years and even attended the farewell party from Ashkenazi in February. He knows Gantz from the period the IDF chief served as Israel’s military attaché to Washington DC.

In an official statement, the IDF said that Mullen worked over the years to strengthen military ties between Israel and the United States and maintained a “brave relationship” with his Israeli counterparts.

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