Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, and members of the MACH 1 Caucus met last week with 12 pilots from the Israeli Air Force as a part of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s Military Leadership Education Program.
Each year, the program brings together active-duty service members across the five different branches of the Israeli military to discuss Israel’s broad security challenges and the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“Israel is the United States’ most critical ally,” Garcia said in a prepared statement. “Not only do they serve as a stronghold for western values in the Middle East, but they are a critical piece for ongoing negotiations towards sustained peace in the Middle East.”
Garcia added: “The conversation between these pilots and members of the MACH 1 Caucus is critical to the U.S.-Israel partnership. It helps us to better understand the challenges that they are experiencing in carrying out their jobs, so we can serve as stronger allies in their quest to keep our countries and the world secure against evil forces such as Hamas, Iran and other adversaries. It was an honor to meet with these heroes, and I am grateful for their service to Israel and the world.”
The Jewish Institute for National Security of America issued the following statement regarding the meeting:
“It was a distinct honor for the delegation of Israeli Air Force officers taking part in JINSA’s Military Leadership Education Institute Program to meet with the MACH 1 Caucus. With a shared background in military aviation, the robust discussion strengthened and deepened mutual understanding that contributes to the security of both nations.”
The MACH 1 Caucus is a group of members of Congress dedicated to policy issues important to the fighter pilot community and educating other members on these issues.