Incoming IDF Chief of Staff Galant assembles his team

Senior military appointments made; Galant to be replaced in the Southern Command by Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo.

Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, the incoming IDF chief of staff, on Thursday began assembling the major-generals he wants to see sit at the General Staf
f table with the announcement of a round of senior appointments.
Galant, who will take over from Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi in February, will be replaced in the Southern Command by Maj.- Gen. Tal Russo, who has spend the past four years as head of the IDF Operations Directorate.
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One surprise appointment was that of Brig.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi as the next head of Military Intelligence in place of the current chief, Maj.-Gen.
Amos Yadlin. Kochavi is a respected officer who has served in the past as head of the Gaza Division and until recently as Russo’s deputy in the Operations Directorate.
Most of the previous heads of Military Intelligence – known by its Hebrew acronym AMAN – served in other posts on the General Staff before moving over to head up MI.
Russo will be replaced by Brig.-Gen Yaacov Ayish, who previously served as deputy head of the Ground Forces Command.
The round of appointments was officially approved by Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak but was carried out with the approval of Galant, who will spend the next few months until he takes up his new post learning more about the military and the intricacies of serving as chief of staff.
One job that has yet to be filled is the deputy chief of staff, which will soon be vacated by Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz. He lost out to Galant in the race to replaced Ashkenazi. The leading candidate to be the IDF’s No. 2 is OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.