Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, headed to the US on Saturday evening for a week-long formal visit at the invitation of Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Estimates are the focus of the scheduled talks will be the Iranian nuclear threat, specifically possible military solutions.
This will be Ashkenazi's first trip the United States since being appointed chief of staff. However he and counterpart Mullen have already met twice since that time.
Ashkenazi will tour US army command centers and bases as well as visit the Marine Corps base in Quantico, where he attended the Marine Corps University. The chief of staff will also visit the Arlington National Cemetery and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
He is scheduled to meet with Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Advisor Steven Hadley as well as various senior officials from Congress, the Senate and the Pentagon.
On the agenda will be recent developments on the defense fronts Israel is currently facing, namely Palestinian terrorism, Hizbullah in Lebanon and the Iranian nuclear threat. These matters were also at the
center of Ashkenazi's previous meetings with Mullen.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak is also scheduled to visit the US in early August. Both he and Ashkenazi will also discuss the purchase of advanced weapons and defense systems.
The chief of staff will also meet with Jewish community leaders, AIPAC officials and media figures.
Ashkenazi will return next Sunday and his role and responsibilities have been assumed by his deputy, Maj. Gen. Dan Harel.