US Chief of Naval Operations visits Israel for Counterpart Visit
By: Rebekah Blowers
US Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Gary Roughead is visiting Israel from June 21-24 at the invitation of Israel Navy Commander, Vice Adm. Eli Marum, to strengthen and further develop global maritime partnerships and increase maritime security.
CNO toured Haifa and Ashdod Naval Bases where he got underway on INS Lahav, an Eilat-class corvette; went aboard the Israeli Dolphin-class submarine, INS Tukuma; and met with Israel Navy and Ministry of Defense officials. Roughead said closer ties and cooperation are mutually beneficial to both navies.
“This is my first visit to Israel, and I’ve found it to be extremely worthwhile, productive and enjoyable both professionally and personally,” Roughead said. “This is an important visit because of the close relationship between our nations and our navies.”
CNO stressed the significance of Israel as an important partner to maintaining regional maritime security and achieving key objectives of the cooperative maritime strategy.
“It is important for us to discuss the views we have on maintaining security and safety of our world’s oceans and the sea lanes of communication that are important to the prosperity of our countries,” said Roughead.
Although this is Roughead’s first visit to Israel since becoming Chief of Naval Operations in September 2007, this is the third occasion in which he’s had substantive meetings with Marum. Roughead said he looks forward to future visits with the Israel Navy, as well as other maritime partners throughout the world. Roughead believes that many countries in the region, including Israel, share common interests in combating piracy, promoting stability and securing the maritime domain.