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Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh last week visited Israel for the first time since becoming the Air Force's uniformed leader one year ago. His Israeli counterpart, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, hosted Welsh. Eshel and he discussed plans to strengthen cooperation between the two air arms as well as regional security matters during the four-day visit, which concluded on Aug. 8, according to an Israeli Defense Forces blog entry. Welsh also visited an F-15I squadron, combat simulator unit, the Israeli air force's flight academy, and toured the country's northern border, said US and Israeli officials. "It was a great privilege to visit our partners in the Israeli air force," said Welsh, who first visited in 2009 when he led US Air Forces in Europe. "I leave here reminded of what a strong partner we have in the Israeli air force, and what a great leader they have in my friend Amir Eshel." CMSAF James Cody accompanied Welsh on the trip, as did Heidi Grant, the Air Force's deputy undersecretary for international affairs. On the heels of Welsh's visit, Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Martin Dempsey arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday on the first stop of his own visit to the region. (Air Force release)