For the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gen. Steven Basham, who is the head of the U.S. military's Joint Task Force Israel, visited the country. General Basham is the Deputy Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa, and Commander of the Israeli-American task force JFTI.
The general, who was the official guest of the head of the IDF Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, met with the Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, and with the Commander of the IAF Air Defense Division, Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav. A report on the IAF website said there is a strong and long-lasting relationship between the IAF Air Defense Division and the U.S. military, as demonstrated by the large exercises that take place every two years, "Juniper Falcon" and "Juniper Cobra", with the latter to take place in February 2022. The general and his entourage also visited the IDF's 210th Division and were briefed on IDF weapons systems.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the IAF has been able to maintain cooperation with foreign countries, including the holding of a virtual forum of air force commanders. Brig. Gen. (Res.) Doron Gavish, former IAF Air Defense Commander and head of the Israeli side of the joint task force, said that during "Juniper Falcon" an IAF delegation visited the American task force in Germany, which made an important contribution to ties with the Americans.