NATO Arrives in Israel for Training Exercise
(IsraelNN.com) A NATO naval force of six frigates under the command of Admiral Artugrol of the Turkish navy arrived Monday morning at the Haifa port for a joint training exercise with Israeli missile boats "in order to improve and strengthen the cooperation between NATO and the Israeli navy," according to an IDF release.
Three NATO boats and two Israeli missile boats, the INS Lahav, a Sa'ar 5 class corvette, and the INS Keshet, a Nirit class missile boat, participated in the exercise. The NATO naval vessels are scheduled to leave Israel in a few days.
During the visit, the NATO force hosted a formal dinner on board the naval vessel "Sailihreis" with the participation of Admiral Artugrol, the ambassadors of the countries whose naval vessels participants in the force, senior Israel Navy officers and other guests. During the visit, a demonstration of naval capabilities took place, as well as an exchange of information on a range of topics.
"It is important to emphasize that this year, for the first time, the Israel Navy posted an officer to NATO headquarter in Napoli, to serve as the liaison between the IDF and NATO's southern command," the IDF statement said. "The officer is based permanently in Napoli and is responsible for coordination with NATO and the transfer of information between NATO and the IDF. The officer was posted to Napoli, after an evaluative process over a period of years. The posting constitutes a significant step in strengthening the connection between the IDF and NATO."